Life
Man keeps his promise made 30 years ago and shares $22M winnings with his friend
Now, THAT'S a good friend!
Eduardo Gaskell
08.21.22

Twenty-eight years ago in Wisconsin, best friends Tom Cook and Joe Feeney made a promise to each other that whoever won the Powerball jackpot, if they were so lucky, would share the winnings with the other.

And that happened to Tom who picked a ticket worth $22 million in late June of 2020. He remembered his promise.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

Tom bought the $2 winning ticket from a Synergy Coop store for the June 10 drawing. He was having breakfast when he checked the numbers shortly after purchasing it.

Tom “froze” when he read the numbers. He handed the ticket over to his very shocked wife.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

The realization hit, and Tom said he remembered the promise he and Joe made almost three decades ago. So he called his friend to share the life-changing news.

“He called me and I said, ‘are you jerking my bobber?’” Joe, who is an avid fisherman, says of his reaction when he saw the lottery’s press release.

The overall odds of winning was 1 in 292,201,338. Tom was really far from kidding.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

The longtime duo had been playing Powerball every week since it began in 1992. They made the promise to each other all while imagining what they’d do if they won all that money.

And even though it happened decades ago, Tom says, “A handshake’s a handshake, man.”

What a great guy.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

Tom gave his two-weeks’ notice at work, immediately resigning and retiring after he won. Joe was already retired from the fire department, so all he had to do was have fun.

Tom and Joe chose cash, giving them approximately $16.7 million. The guys took home around $5.7 million each after federal and state taxes.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

They have no extravagant plans about the huge winnings, but both are looking forward to spending more time with their families.

Tom couldn’t think of a better way to retire, realizing he and his pal could now do anything they wanted.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

He was very keen on bonding with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All that money meant he could make and share new experiences with them.

“I got grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and I’m looking forward to spending time with them, not worrying about if I got time to go, and where we can go, and if we can afford it,” he told PEOPLE.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

Tom and Joe, together with their wives would often hit the road in a Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Well winning meant they could afford newer, better cars!

Tom and Joe’s win was Wisconsin’s 18th Powerball jackpot. In March 2019, the state had a huge $768.4 million jackpot winner. Wisconsin ranks fourth on the all-time list of most frequently winning states.

YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery
Source:
YouTube - Wisconsin Lottery

And should you wonder if loyal players still play Powerball after winning, the answer is yes. Tom bought two more lottery tickets after he won.

“What can I lose?” he said.

Tom and Joe aren’t the only big winners though. The Synergy Coop that sold Tom the winning ticket also got an incentive of $100,000. Talk about luck though!

Check out Tom and Joe’s interview in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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