Shropshire Star

Lottery winner stuns friend by sharing huge prize

Tom Cook made good on a handshake promise with Joe Feeney from three decades ago and split 22 million dollars with him.

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Lottery winners Tom Cook, Joe Feeney and their wives

A lottery winner made good on a handshake promise made nearly 30 years ago by sharing his millions with a friend.

Joe Feeney from Wisconsin in the US could barely believe it when he received a call from his friend Tom Cook to say he had won 22 million dollars (£17.3 million) on the Powerball lottery and was intending to split it with him.

Mr Feeney, a keen fisherman from Menomonie, said: “He called me and I said: ‘Are you jerking my bobber?'”

The pair have been playing Powerball since it arrived in Wisconsin in 1992 and shook hands on an agreement that should either ever win big, they would split the cash between them.

“That happened many years ago and it just kind of continued,” Mr Cook, of Elk Mound, said.

“A handshake’s a handshake, man.”

Mr Cook promptly quit his job upon learning of his win and he and Mr Feeney, who had already retired, are looking forward to spending more time with their families.

Mr Cook said: “I’ve got grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and now I can spend time with them without worrying about if I’ve got time to go and where we can go and afford it and whatever.

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

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