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Man makes good on 1992 handshake, splits $22M jackpot with friend

July 23 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin man proved his devotion as a friend by making good on a 28-year-old handshake promise and splitting his $22 million Powerball jackpot with his longtime buddy.

Thomas Cook told Wisconsin Lottery officials that learning the Powerball ticket he bought from Synergy Coop in Menomonie was a $22 million winner made him quickly recall a deal he made with friend Joseph Feeney in 1992.

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Cook said the two men shook hands and agreed that if either of them ever won a Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings.

"He called me and I said 'are you jerking my bobber?'" Feeney recalled of being told the news.

Cook and Feeney, who took the lump sum option for their payouts, each received about $5.7 million after federal and state taxes.

Cook said the money inspired him to put in his two weeks notice and retire. He and Feeney, who had already retired previously, said the money will allow them to spend more time with their families.

"We can pursue what we feel comfortable with," Cook said. "I can't think of a better way to retire."

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