BOSTON (CBS) – A lot of times in life it’s the unexpected surprises that bring out the biggest smiles. Just ask 12-year-old Alyssa MacNeil of Hopedale.

“I was not expecting to go to the playoff game. I was going to watch it at home,” Alyssa said.

She and her mom got the surprise of their lives after Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks sent out this tweet.

That tweet sent out a frenzy of requests.

“Everyone was nominating my mom to get the tickets and he followed my mom and talked to her on Twitter and asked her if she wants the tickets and she said yes,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa has been a Patriots fan for years but this was her first playoff game. And it all happened in a matter of hours.

Alyssa MacNeil got Patriots playoff tickets thanks to Brandin Cooks. (WBZ-TV)

The family says they got a call from Cooks’ agent just four hours before kickoff.

“I was at my friend’s house and my mom FaceTimed me and said ‘I need you to come home we just got tickets to the Patriots game.’ I was speechless,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa and her mother took many pictures of themselves having the time of their lives.

“I’ve never seen her this happy for a while because we’ve been struggling,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa, who’s quite the athlete herself and loves the game of basketball, says this whole experience has taught her a valuable lesson.

“I like how there are kind people in the world that are helping other people,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa MacNeil and her mother at the Patriots-Titans game. (Image Credit: Khaleesi MacNeil)

Her favorite player is Tom Brady; at least until Saturday afternoon. Now it’s Brandin Cooks.

“I think he’s first now,” Alyssa laughed.

In a previous interview with WBZ-TV, Cooks spoke about the impact his own mother had on his career.

“My mom raised us four boys by herself. It was awesome. It rubbed off on me, her work ethic. It’s a lot of kudos to her and what she’s done and what she’s gone through,” he said.

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