Wisconsin friends split $22 million Powerball jackpot after 1992 promise

Wisconsin friends split $22 million Powerball jackpot after 1992 promise
Thomas Cook, second from left, and Joseph Feeney, pictured with their wives, each took home about $5.7 million after federal and state taxes when Cook won the Powerball jackpot on June 10. (Source: Wisconsin Lottery)

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV/Gray News) - Two friends from Wisconsin were finally able to make good on a promise that if either of them ever won the Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings.

Thomas Cook called his friend Joseph Feeney, an avid fisherman, to announce that the ticket he bought at Synergy Coop in Menomonie, Wisconsin, for the June 10 drawing was the $22 million jackpot winner.

“He called me, and I said, ‘Are you jerking my bobber?’” said Feeney, according to Powerball. In 1992, the two shook hands and made the now life-changing promise.

Cook gave his two weeks notice and retired upon learning of his win, while Feeney previously retired from an area fire department.

“Congratulations to Tom, Joe, and their families,” said Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin in a news release. “The power of friendship and a handshake has paid off. I’m thrilled for them - their lucky day has arrived!”

Choosing the cash option of approximately $16.7 million, Cook and Feeney each took home about $5.7 million after federal and state taxes.

The men say they hope to take their wives on a road trip, like one they previously took - though perhaps in an upgraded vehicle this time.

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