Two UK students and a UK graduate will get to do something this year they haven’t done in four years. They will celebrate their birthday on the actual day they were born, February 29.
It’s estimated that .07% of the world’s population was born on a leap day, which means given the current U.S. population, only about 205,000 people in the U.S. have a leap year birthday, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Taylor Starks, Nathan Cracraft and Alex Reed are part of that small group.
Starks, a sophomore marketing major at UK, should be turning 20 this year. Because this will only be the fifth leap year that has come around since she was born, this is only the fifth time she has celebrated her true birth date.
“I feel special being born on a day that is so rare,” Starks said. “My only complaint is when I sign up for memberships at places, I get scared to put my real birthday because I don’t want to miss out on birthday coupons.”
Starks celebrates her birthday on March 1 when it’s not leap year because she said it would feel wrong celebrating the day before she was born.
Cracraft, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said that he celebrated his birthday February 28 and March 1 as a kid while waiting for leap year.
“When I was younger, I had two birthday parties, one on February 28 and one on March 1,” Cracraft said. “It’s funny getting little kid birthday cards from your relatives whenever you have a ‘real’ birthday.”
A unique benefit of being a leap day baby is that you can do certain things a day before you officially turn a year older. For instance, on Cracraft’s 21st birthday, since it wasn’t a leap year, he was able to buy alcohol on February 28, a day early.
He will be 24 this year, or only six in leap years.
Reed, a UK alum who graduated in 2014 with a degree in biology, grew up celebrating his birthday on February 28 when it wasn’t leap year because it was sooner than March 1, his other option.
Reed said that this birthday won’t be a lot different than his previous birthdays other than him being able to celebrate it on his actual birthday.
“I mean, I have been waiting on this day for years—literally,” Reed said.
Starks, Cracraft and Reed all have plans to have dinner with family and friends for their birthdays this leap year.