NEW YORK (AP) — Penny Martin won’t have to be pinching pennies any more.

The Staten Island woman recently discovered that she was the beneficiary of a $10,000 life insurance policy held by a former boyfriend who died in 1985.

On Thursday, Martin was presented with a check from the state’s unclaimed funds at a news conference attended by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and state Sen. Diane Savino.

The state has $10.5 billion in unclaimed funds dating to the 1940s. It includes unclaimed insurance policies, lapsed bank accounts and other property.

The 47-year-old woman works as a cook at Forever Young Senior Center. She spent much of last year living in a homeless shelter.

She said she wakes up now feeling “each day is a blessing.”

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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