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Vegas airport No. 2 for guests leaving cash behind

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In this Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 photo, construction workers walk along the main concourse of Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Scheduled to open in mid-2012, Terminal 3 will feature 14 gates including 6 for international flights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

LAS VEGAS >> McCarran airport in Las Vegas is second only to Miami in the amount of cash left behind by travelers emptying their pockets for security.

The Transportation Security Administration collected nearly $27,000 in unclaimed change at checkpoints last year. That was topped only by Miami International Airport’s $40,000 haul.

Officials didn’t speculate about whether the money has anything to do with people winning big at casinos.

TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal the cash shows up because a relatively large portion of passengers start their journey at McCarran and are screened there, as opposed to passing through the airport unchecked for a transfer.

The TSA collected about $531,000 from all airports last year. Congress voted Tuesday that TSA should apply the money toward airport lounges for servicemembers.

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