Tom Cook and Joe Feeney, who live in the Menomonie area of Wisconsin, made the deal in 1992, saying they would always share the money, regardless of who owns the ticket.
Mr Cook kept his word when he realized the Powerball ticket he bought for the June 10 jackpot was the winner of $ 22million (£ 17million).
Mr Feeney said he couldn’t believe it when Mr Cook phoned him to tell him the news.
The avid fisherman said he asked his friend, “Are you rocking my bobber? ”
But it was nothing fishy, and Mr. Cook quickly retired from his job. Mr. Feeney had previously retired from his job with a fire department.
“We can pursue whatever we feel comfortable with. I can’t think of a better way to retire, ”Mr. Cook said.
Wisconsin Lottery Director Cindy Polzin said, “Congratulations to Tom, Joe and their families.
“The power of friendship and handshaking has paid off. I’m delighted for them – their lucky day has arrived. ”
The men took the roughly $ 16.7million (£ 13million) cash option, meaning they each took home around $ 5.7million (£ 4.4million). ) after federal and state taxes.
The pair said they didn’t have any extravagant spending plans, but looked forward to more family time.
Powerball tickets cost $ 2 (£ 1.50) and the odds of winning are approximately one in 292,000,000.