Sam Toomey served in the U.S. Navy with Leonard Simms. Both of them were stationed together at a military listening post, monitoring long-wave radio transmissions in the South Pacific. His wife, Martha, said that Sam hated the job because there was "nothing to do but listen to static night after night".
When Hurley was searching for the source of the numbers, trying to alleviate what he considered their curse, he tracked down Simms in a mental hospital. Simms became extremely agitated when he discovered that Hurley had used the numbers to win the lottery, and before Simms was removed physically from the visitation room, he told Hurley that Sam "heard them in Kalgoorlie. It's a town where he used to work. In Australia." Hurley traveled to Australia where he met Sam's wife, who informed Hurley that Sam committed suicide 4 years ago in an attempt to end the curse.
Martha invited Hurley inside for tea while she relayed the background with Sam and the numbers. She said that one night—about 16 years before Hurley's visit—a voice appeared in the static "repeating those numbers over and over again". Sam used the numbers to win $50,000 in a "Guess the Number of Beans" (within 10) contest at the fair in Kalgoorlie. Martha said the jar "must have been big as a pony, and it's filled to the rim", commenting that the man "had been running the same scam for 40 years and nobody had ever come close" until Sam hit it exactly by using all of the Numbers ("4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42", which in this case means "4,815,162,342").
On their way home from the fair, Sam and his wife collided head-on with a truck that blew a tire on the highway; Martha lost her leg, and Sam escaped without a scratch. Toomey blamed that, as well as future unlucky occurrences, on the Numbers. Those occurrences continued until he committed suicide "to end the curse".
Martha told Hurley that she didn't believe that the Numbers had any power at all, and that there wasn't a curse. She said Hurley makes his own luck, and blaming it on the numbers was just "looking for an excuse that doesn't exist". ("Numbers")
In Stephen King's short story / TV mini-series The Langoliers, a (rather obnoxious) character named Craig Toomey was among the passengers who survived passing through a Time Warp during a flight from LAX to JFK.