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For Ellicott City girl, a lucky number and an unusual birthday

Leah Crisco turns 12 today. Specifically, she's turning 12 years old on Dec. 12, 2012 — the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of her life.

"It's weird," said Leah, who lives in Ellicott City. "People don't believe me at first, when I tell them the day. They say, 'No, it's not.' I think it's cool."

It's a phenomenon that can only happen to people born at the turn of a century — in Leah's case, the year 2000 — and John Condon, an assistant professor of mathematics at Howard Community College, said about one in every 30 people born in the year 2000 (or 1900 or 2100) would have "something like this occur." Overall, there's about 1/3,000 of a chance that a person will ever have all four numbers — age, day, month, year — match.

Overall, Condon said, numerical coincidences aren't exceptionally rare if one looks for them.

"But that doesn't mean that such coincidences are any less fun," he said.

Leah and her family would agree.

"I don't know anybody else who has a birthday like this, any time of the year," Leah said. "I think it's cool, it's such a weird birthday to have."

Leah, a seventh-grader at Bonnie Branch Middle School, participates in band, debate club and the television crew, as well as Girl Scouts, and any and all STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. For her birthday, she asked for a circuit kit.

Leah's mother and father, Dayna and John Crisco, said they hadn't given much thought to the coincidental birthday until Leah turned 10 years old.

"We first realized, 'Oh, you're turning 10 in 2010,' and we thought it was kind of cool," Dayna Crisco said. "Then we thought, Oh, wait a minute.' We've been anticipating this birthday ever since. ... This being so different, it lends itself to this additional excitement, and it's hard to define that."

Leah and her family said they'll try to incorporate the number 12 into the day as much as possible — taking special note of midnight and noon, for example. Other, more typical birthday activities will ensue: The family tends to have dessert for dinner, and Leah's having three sleepovers with groups of friends to celebrate.

While the family hasn't looked into deeper numerological implications of turning 12 on 12/12/12, Leah said that 12 is her favorite, and lucky, number.

"That's a cool thing," she said. "There will always be two twelves in my birthday."

The next time the numbers would align for Leah will be in 2112 when, she said with a smile, she'll turn 112.

"She's special," Dayna Crisco said. "We feel that in line with that, it's fitting she has a special birthday like this."

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