Two Wisconsin friends split a $22 million Powerball jackpot in honour of a 28-year-old handshake

A freshly printed Powerball ticket is seen at a Citgo gas station February 17, 2006 near the Illinois border in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images
  • A Wisconsin man kept his end of a pact made 28 years ago and split his $US22 million Powerball jackpot winnings with his friend.
  • Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney shook hands in 1992 promising to split winnings regardless of who won.
  • Both men took home about 5.7 million each after state and federal taxes.
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A Wisconsin man kept his promise 28 years later by splitting $US22 million jackpot with his friend.

NBC reported that Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney shook hands and made a pact in 1992 that they would split the Powerball lottery winnings, regardless of who won.

According to the report, Cook purchased the $US22 million winning ticket at a Menomonie, Wisconsin gas station in June.

During an interview with the Wisconsin Lottery on Thursday, Cook explained how both he and his wife froze when they realised he had the winning ticket.

Cook said he then called Feeney who was in awe of the news and thought he was joking.

In the interview, Feeney explained the pair’s agreement.

“We said whenever the big winner comes, we’re going to split it,” Feeney said. “So we buy every week … not really thinking it would happen.”

“That happened many years ago,” Cook responded. “A handshake’s a handshake, man.”

The duo doesn’t have big plans with their new fortune, but they are looking forward to retiring and spending time with their family.

“I can’t think of a better way to retire,” said Cook.

According to NBC’s report, in a Wisconsin Lottery press release, Cook and Feeney chose the cash option of $US16.7 million which is about $US5.7 million each after state and federal taxes.