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Tom Cook honours pact to share $22 million lottery jackpot with old mate Joe Feeney

When best mates Joe Feeney and Tom Cook shook hands in 1992, neither of them were to know it would be worth millions of dollars.

The long-time pals, from the US state Wisconsin, were sealing a pact that if one of them won the lottery they would split the winnings equal ways.

Incredibly, on June 10 — almost 30 years since their spontaneous agreement — Mr Cook discovered he had matched his numbers to secure a cool $22 million.

And one of the first things he did? Contact his old mate Mr Feeney.

SEE HIS INTERVIEW IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

Mr Feeney said he was stunned by the news, which was broken to him in a phone call from Mr Cook.

“He called me and I said, ‘Are you jerking my bobbler?” he said.

The deal dates back to the first lottery game in the State. Although neither man can remember exactly when the pact was made, the fact that they’d shaken hands on it remained crystal clear.

In an interview with the Wisconsin Lottery, Mr Cook explained the pair’s long-running agreement and his plans to come good on his promise.

“A handshake is a handshake, man,” Mr Cook said, as he proudly accepted his lottery cheque alongside his mate.

Tom Cook and Joe Feeney celebrate their lottery win with their partners.
Camera IconTom Cook and Joe Feeney celebrate their lottery win with their partners. Credit: Wisconsin Lottery/Wisconsin Lottery

The two men are planning on enjoying their retirement with the cash and have road trip together to celebrate in an upgraded vehicle.

“We can pursue what we feel comfortable with. I can’t think of a better way to retire,” Mr Cook said.

Wisconsin lottery director Cindy Polzin said the honoured agreement showed the strength of their friendship.

“Congratulations to Tom, Joe, and their families,” she said.

“The power of friendship and a handshake has paid off. I’m thrilled for them—their lucky day has arrived.”

But despite the size of the jackpot, the men will receive just $5.7 million each of the winnings after state and federal taxes.

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