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Long Island woman born on Leap Day in 1940 celebrates 21st birthday

Leap Year baby Lottie Higgins celebrates 21st birthday on Long Island
Leap Year baby Lottie Higgins celebrates 21st birthday on Long Island 02:17

NORTH HILLS, N.Y. -- A Long Island woman has celebrated her Leap Day birthday 21 times in her life, but she is into her eighth decade on Earth.

Leap Day baby Lottie Higgins, born in 1940, celebrated her 21st birthday Thursday.

"It feels like I've gone through a lot to be 21," she said.

Born in Queens on Leap Day 84 years ago, Higgins now lives at the Bristal in North Hills, where she's known as the resident "Leapling" or "Leaper," but she never expected a surprise party.

"I think it's wonderful," she said.

It came with a bang -- flappers for a day with a Roaring '20s theme.

Higgins says her late husband had fun celebrating her on Feb. 28 and March 1 since the 29th was so aloof.

"I'd say yes, also. Why not? Get a few cakes," Higgins said.

"It's Leap Year! She's really 21. She really is 21 years old. We should all be so lucky," 89-year-old Jack Sevida said.

The chances of being born on Leap Day are so rare that fewer than 0.1% of the world's population is born on Feb. 29.

There is an actual Leap Day cocktail created during the Roaring '20s at London's Savoy Hotel -- gin, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier and lemon -- and now, Higgins can legally drink it.

"She's 21, and I'm going to be 71," said Higgins' stepdaughter, Ginny Field.

"She's a wonderful woman, a loving woman. Lucky to have her in our lives," said Higgins' stepson, Timothy Higgins.

Higgins worked on Wall Street as an executive secretary. After retirement, she was a hospital recovery room volunteer.

"We wish her all the very best and may her life continue forever," Bristal resident Dick Clark said.

A party to make up for the all the years people forgot about her true birthday.

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