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Friends share Powerball jackpot

Friends share Powerball jackpot

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In the money

Thomas Cook of Elk Mound, left, and Joseph Feeney of Menomonie each has 5.7 million reasons to smile.

It started with a handshake between friends Thomas Cook of Elk Mound and Joseph Feeney of Menomonie in 1992, swearing if either won the Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings.

Now, each is taking home $5.7 million.

Tom bought the ticket at the Synergy Coop Exit 45 on 2100 County Rd. B in Menomonie for the June 10 drawing and 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.

They told Lottery officials that they don’t have 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,” Tom said. 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,” Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said. “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 about $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.

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