New Jersey is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to force retailers to turn over balances left on pre-paid store gift cards after five years.
Word is expected within weeks on whether the justices will hear the case.
The appeal could rewrite the law on unclaimed property by clarifying which state has priority in claiming forgotten gift cards and whether it matters where the card was purchased.
New Jersey expanded its abandoned property law to include gift cards in 2010, hoping to add at least $15 million a year in unspent revenue to the state budget.
But the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association sued, delaying the law.