Watch CBS News

"I'm finally allowed to drive!" Leapling celebrates his 16th birthday on February 29

Pittsburgh man celebrates "16th birthday" on Leap Day
Pittsburgh man celebrates "16th birthday" on Leap Day 03:04

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It only happens once every four years, but today is the day - Feb. 29, Leap Day! 

It's the day added to the calendar to adjust for the fact that a year is actually 365 and a quarter days long. 

Which begs the question - what is it like if your birthday is Feb. 29? 

I caught up with a "leap baby" to find out what that's like. 

There are about 5 million leap babies or Leaplings in the world, according to The History Channel and one of them is Jim Newcomb and today he is legally old enough to drive. 

"I'm finally allowed to drive because I am celebrating my 16th birthday," he said. "Even though it was a career, I was a driver." 

A lifelong Teamster and father of two, Jim smiles about his birthday now, but when he was a child, it was a bit different. 

"It was somewhat of a burden because friends, schoolmates, and classmates would tease me, especially after my second they called me a two-year-old," he recalled. 

Every time he has to present his birth certificate, he said people do a double-take when they see the date. 

Over 36 years with his wife Kellie, Jim has leaned into having such an unusual birthday. 

"When I turned 13, I was teasing my wife that now I'm hitting puberty again," he said with a laugh. 

As for when he celebrates, his parents years ago left it up to him: Feb. 28 or March 1. 

"Of course, I told them how about both days - Feb. 28 and then March 1, they laughed," he recalled. "They said no, just pick one, so I said the 28th. Then they asked how come not March - well, I wasn't born in March." 

It's also the date recognized on all of his legal documents. 

In the eyes of the government, someone born on Leap Day is considered a year older on March 1. 

Jim is also not alone in his family when it comes to being a leapling - his great niece shares his birthday and they are getting together today to celebrate. 

She is 12 today, or this is her third leap birthday!

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.