Microsoft hit viral gold and unleashed the waterworks twice in recent months after releasing a duo of commercials — a holiday commercial, "Reindeer Games," and a Super Bowl commercial, "We All Win" — focused on boys and girls with limited mobility using the Xbox Adaptive Controller to play video games with their friends.
At the heart of both emotional commercials was Owen Sirmons, a fourth-grader at Blanco Vista Elementary in San Marcos who has Escobar syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes a wheelchair necessary for long distances, and his real-life best friend, Gunnar Franchione.
"Not gonna lie. I shed a few tears on this. Good job @microsoft," rapper T-Pain tweeted on Jan. 31 after watching the Super Bowl commercial.
RELATED: Meet the 9-year-old Austin-area best friends behind Microsoft’s emotional viral commercial
But while the boys' endearing and authentic friendship has garnered much attention from across the globe on social media, on Monday they got a surprise they never expected — they hung out in person with T-Pain, who was in the Austin area shooting an episode of his Fuse TV show, "T-Pain's School of Business."
"The boys were in awe of meeting what they called 'the most famous person they have ever met!'" said Gunnar's mom, Rebecca Franchione, adding that the boys have a dream of hosting their own travel show called "Owen and Gunnar Take on the World." "They asked him a few questions, took lots of pics and had some laughs. It was a moment they won’t forget."
The Monday visit took place at Lehman High School in Kyle, said Tim Savoy, chief communication officer at Hays Consolidated Independent School District, where T-Pain was shooting an episode about the school's E-sports team.
"They met backstage at Lehman High School at the production trailer right before T-Pain and the crew went in to shoot a pep rally the school had for the E-sports team," Savoy said. "It was an awesome day all the way around — for Gunnar and Owen and all of the students and staff at Lehman High School. We hope T-Pain enjoyed his visit, too."