Stat of the Day

# Mom and Daughter Had a 1-in-2.1-Million Chance of Sharing a Leap Day Birthday

Aih./Flickr
996 Views Feb 29, 2012

On February 29, 2008, Michelle Birnbaum gave birth on her own birthday, meaning that four years later, on the next Leap Day -- today -- we would get to read about how unlikely it was for this mother-daughter pair to share a February 29 birthday. David K. Li, writing in the New York Postprofiled Michelle, a New Jersey "lawyer for kids in child-welfare cases," and her 4-year-old daughter Rose for one of our favorite Leap Day-pegged pieces this year. Li also found someone far better at math than us -- Tufts professor James Ennis -- to calculate the odds of a parent and child like Michelle and Rose sharing a February 29 birthday. "Brushing aside huge variables such as seasonal birth rates, specific generational trends, and other man-made manipulations, the odds of a mom and child sharing Leap Day birthdays are 1 in 2.1 million," according to him.

We think those 1-in-2-million odds will be a nice thing for daughter Rose to brag about to her first- or second-grade classmates on her next "real" birthday, in 2016. After all, if having a plain old regular Leap Day birthday is unique -- February 29 is the least common birthday of the possible 366 -- a parent-and-child birthday sharing of that day is positively remarkable. Quirk aside, we're glad mama Michelle is using the day as something educational, given the weirdly dark Leap Day pieces this year: "Birnbaum hopes to use their Feb. 29 birthdays as a hook for science lessons, to help Rose learn about Earth’s annual trip around the sun that takes a little more than 365 days to complete," writes Li.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at dgrandoni at theatlantic dot com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Topics: ,
Related Articles   More by Dino Grandoni

### User Comments

Please type your comment and click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be prompted to log in or register

• ## The Call Sheet

### Kate Hudson Teams Up With Zach Braff

#### More The Call Sheet

• ##### All Departments

Have a story we missed? A link we have to click? A sharp opinion about the news? Instead of waiting for us to post it, tell us on the Open Wire.

Submit your news and ideas | See all reader posts

### National Journal

More from National Journal