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WI Lottery: $22 Million Ticket Claimed; Handshake in 1992 Leads to Big Win

WI Lottery Powerball Jackpot Winners Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney

Wisconsin – Friends Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney shook hands in 1992, swearing if either one won the Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings…no matter who bought the ticket. Tom, of Elk Mound, and Joe, of Menomonie, made good on that handshake when Tom realized a Powerball ticket he bought at Synergy Coop Exit 45 on 2100 County Rd. B in Menomonie for the June 10 drawing was the $22 Million jackpot winner.

After learning of the win, Tom called Joe to tell him the news and Joe, an avid fisherman, couldn't quite believe it. "He called me and I said, 'are you jerking my bobber?'" said Joe. Tom gave his two weeks-notice and retired upon learning of his win. Joe is previously retired from an area fire department.

Neither have any extravagant plans for the winnings but are looking forward to enjoying more family time. "We can pursue what we feel comfortable with. I can't think of a better way to retire," said Tom. They do look forward to some traveling. Previously, Tom, Joe, and their wives took a road trip together in a small PT Cruiser convertible. For future road trips, they plan to upgrade their vehicle.

“Congratulations to Tom, Joe, and their families,” exclaimed Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin. “The power of friendship and a handshake has paid off. I’m thrilled for them—their lucky day has arrived!”

Choosing the cash option of approximately $16.7 Million, Tom and Joe each took home about $5.7 Million after federal and state taxes. This win is Wisconsin’s 18th Powerball jackpot since Wisconsin debuted the game in 1992. This is the first Wisconsin Powerball jackpot won since March 2019 when Wisconsin had a record-setting $768.4 Million jackpot winner. Wisconsin is now tied for fourth on the all-time list of most frequently winning states.

Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Tickets are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball drawings are Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. Tickets must be purchased before 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday to be included in that day’s drawing. The overall odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.