LITTLETON, Colo. — It's a one in a 33,000 chance, but on July 1, a Littleton family just added another family member with the same birthday.
For the Eppard family, it's a tradition that goes back four generations, and it grew richer on July 1, 2017 with the birth of Beauden Mathew James Eppard.
The smiling baby boy is the third Eppard male in four generations to be born on that date. His family is now celebrating the serendipitous birth.
Connor James Eppard, the baby's 27-years-old father, was born on July 1 in 1990, becoming the second Eppard in his family after his grandfather to have the birth date.
"We had to keep up the tradition. He's named after his father and great grandfather," Eppard said. "Having him come on my birthday and my grandfather's birthday, it's a pretty amazing thing."
James "Jim" Morrisette, the baby's 86-year-old great-grandfather, describes himself as a reasonably spry old fellow. He and his wife could be heard hooting and hollering on the phone after learning the news of his great-grandson's birth.
"I didn't cry this time," Morrisette said, noting he cried like a baby when his grandson Connor was born. "I was just joyous. It's all part of God's plan."
According to the newborn's mother, Jordan Eppard, the pregnancy did not go as planned, with several twists and turns.
"They broke my water and I wasn't progressing the way they wanted me to," Eppard said. "Having a C-section was the last thing I wanted to do, but the head was stuck in the birth canal, and I had an emergency C-section."
Eppard said the boy's due date originally was three weeks after July 1, but said it all worked out. Now the family is planning for their next joint birthday celebration.
"We don't have a big July 4th party, it's a July 1st party, so we're just going to continue to do that," Connor Eppard said.
The numbers behind the birthdays
Mathematicians crunched the numbers behind three family members in four generations having the same birthday, finding the feat may be more common than some would believe.
Dr. Ben Dyhr, Associate Professor in MSU Denver's Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, said the odds work out to be about 33,374 to 1, or a .0029 percent chance.
"The more children in each generation of the family, the more likely a sequence of consecutive birthdays becomes," Dhyr said. "(These) odds assume that only one boy was born to each generation of the family."
Dhyr said birthday equations are a popular topic and explained further that if 23 people are in a room together, "it is more likely than not that two of the 23 people share birthdays."