Photo by Bre Rogers/Collegian: HutchCC’s Gelecia Cooper leaps for a basket during a home game against Seward County at the Sports Arena.

By Sam Bailey / Staff Writer

Birthdays are one of the few things people can always rely on to come around on the same day, year after year, without fail.

However, for some, this is simply not the case. According to, roughly 205,000 of the 327.2 million people in the United States were born on Feb. 29. This means their actual birthday comes around only once every four years.

Hutchinson Community College sophomore Gelecia Cooper, from Norfolk, Virginia, is one of the few Americans with a leap year birthday.

Cooper was born in 2000, making her 4 in leap-years and 19 in regular years.

She doesn’t remember when she found out about her special birthday, but when she was born, she received some outside attention.

“When I was born, I was actually in a newspaper for [being] one of the first millennial leap year babies,” Cooper said.

Besides being featured in a newspaper, Cooper has found other benefits to being born on Feb. 29.

“I get really big discounts for certain stores and stuff because I’m like one of the few… it’s pretty cool,” Cooper said. “I feel special.”

Since Cooper’s birthday only truly comes once every four years, she said she typically celebrates the date on both Feb. 28 and March 1.

Having such a rare birthday makes finding other people who share the same birthday difficult. However, Cooper says she does know one other person who shares her birthday.

“This boy named Ricky [is] like my birthday twin. We always tell each other ‘happy birthday,’ and he’s like 6 in leap-year years,” Cooper said.

Even though there is only a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on a leap day according to, Cooper was able to defy the odds, making her one of the few able to claim Feb. 29 as her official birthday.

This story is part of a series of features on people on campus with a Leap Day birthday. The other stories can be read below:

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