People.com Human Interest Wisc. Man Splits $22M Lottery Winnings with Friend, Honoring Promise Made in 1992 The odds of winning the Powerball are just 1 in 292,201,338 By Rachel DeSantis Rachel DeSantis Instagram Twitter Rachel DeSantis is a writer/reporter covering music at PEOPLE. She has held various roles since joining the brand in 2019, and was previously a member of the human interest team. As a music writer, Rachel interviews everyone from rock-and-roll legends to up-and-coming stars for magazine feature stories and digital news stories. Rachel is based in New York City, and previously worked as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News after getting her start as an Entertainment Weekly intern. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 24, 2020 01:18 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Thomas Cook, Joseph Feeney and their wives. Photo: Wisconsin Lottery Nearly 30 years ago, longtime friends Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney made a promise: if either one of them ever won the Powerball jackpot, they’d split the winnings. So when Cook took home a Powerball ticket worth $22 million in late June, it meant Feeney was a winner too. “A handshake’s a handshake,” Cook told the Wisconsin Lottery of keeping the agreement the pair made in 1992. Added Feeney: “We said, whenever the big winner comes, we’re gonna split it. So we buy every week, not really thinking it would happen.” Cook bought his winning ticket, which cost $2, at a Synergy Coop in Menomonie, Wisconsin ahead of the June 10 drawing, the lottery said in a press release. He was eating breakfast when he learned the life-changing news that he’d picked himself a winner. RELATED VIDEO: Man Wins $60 Million Lottery After Playing with the Same Numbers for More Than 20 Years “It was quite an experience when I read the first two or three numbers,” he said. “I kind of froze and handed them to [my wife]. And she froze.” When Cook called Feeney to tell him the good news, he was shocked too; “I said, ‘Are you jerking my bobber?’” Feeney recalled. The men went with the cash option, and after taxes, they each took home about $5.7 million, according to the press release. Kansas City Police Raise Money for Laid-Off Mom After She Donates Lottery Winnings to Injured Cop Cook was able to give his two weeks notice at work, and promptly retired thanks to his new windfall, which the odds of winning are just 1 in 292,201,338. “I can’t think of a better way to retire,” he said. “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.” Colo. Man Wins 2 $1M Powerball Tickets in the Same Day While Playing Same Set of Numbers The pals also hope to get some traveling done with their wives – the foursome previously took a road trip together in a PT Cruiser convertible, but this time, hope they can splurge on something a bit larger. And that’s not all – Cook says that he’s even bought two more lottery tickets since his big win. “What can I lose?” he said.