Feb 28, 2024

Question of the Day: What are the chances of being born on a leap day [Feb 29th]?

Leap into rarity: Can you guess the probability of a birthday that only comes up once every four years?

Answer: about one in 1,461! Feb. 29 only comes around once every 1,461 days

Questions:

• How does the leap year system work, and why do we have leap years? Discuss the reasons behind adding an extra day to our calendar every four years.
• Considering the odds of being born on February 29th, how does this rarity impact those who have leap day birthdays?
• Think about other life events that happen on rare occasions. Pick an event and discuss how its rarity could affect its perception and value in society.

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use with your students.

Behind the numbers (PopSugar):

"The chances of a baby being born on Leap Day is pretty slim: about one in 1,461, as Feb. 29 only comes around once every 1,461 days. And if a baby is born during a Leap Year, the chance of their birthday falling on Feb. 29 is a one in 366 chance (but of course, it all completely depends on when the baby was conceived). For everyone else not born on Feb. 29, the odds of them having their specific birth date is one in 365, as all of the other days occur every year!"

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