Best friends Tom Cook and Joe Feeney agreed that if any of them were to win the Powerball jackpot, they would split the prize money with the other. This agreement was established twenty-eight years ago in Wisconsin.
And it was a surprise. One of them actually won the lottery. In the latter part of June 2020, Tom chose a $22 million winning ticket. And he remembered what he promised his best friend.
Tom purchased the $2 winning ticket for the June 10 drawing from a Synergy Coop retailer. Shortly after buying it, he checked the numbers while eating breakfast.
Tom read the numbers and then “froze.” He gave the ticket to his stunned wife.
Tom recalled the commitment he and Joe had made over three decades earlier. He then contacted his pal to tell him the momentous news.
Joe, an enthusiastic fisherman, describes his feeling after knowing the lottery’s news announcement: “He called me and I said, ‘are you jerking my bobber?’”
The odds of winning were 1 in 292,201,338 total. Tom wasn’t joking at all.
Every week since Powerball’s inception in 1992, the long-time pair had been playing it. They formed the pact while also planning what they would do with all of the money they may win.
When Tom realized he had won, he promptly gave his two weeks’ notice at work and retired. Joe only needed to have fun because he was already retired from the fire service.
Tom and Joe had the option of accepting cash, receiving about $16.7 million. After paying federal and state taxes, the men each received around $5.7 million.
They don’t have any lavish plans for their substantial earnings, but both of them are looking forward to having more family time.
Tom realized he and his friend could now do whatever they pleased, and he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his retirement.
His desire to spend time with his grandkids and great-grandchildren was strong. He was able to create and share amazing experiences with them thanks to all that money.
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