DNA Tests Reveal The Truth About Identical Triplets
Within the last few years, the possibility of having identical triplets has dropped to an incredible one in a million. While this can get as high as one in ten thousand, it’s still incredibly rare, almost as improbable as making it in the entertainment industry. But the Dahm sisters, Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn, managed to do both, creating an incredible career that’s lasted since they were kids. From modeling to television shows and so much more, the Dahm triplets have definitely made their mark, but that’s just the beginning of what makes them special.
Before they were famous, the Dahms grew up as just a regular set of triplets from a small town in Minnesota. They achieved notoriety early in their lives, and managed to grow their success over the years. These triplets have done some amazing things, but it’s their DNA that really sets them apart from other triplets. They had no idea how different they really were until they were offered a rare opportunity to do DNA tests, and nothing could’ve prepared them for the results. Read on to find out the incredible truth behind their genes and heritage…
The Early Days
The Dahm triplets were born on December 12, 1977 in a tiny town on the outskirts of Minnesota. First was Nicole, then Erica and finally Jaclyn, but keep in mind their births happened just moments apart. They grew up in a small city called Jordan, which, at the time, only had a couple thousand people. It hasn’t grown much since then, with the most recent census showing the population has only grown about three times that over the last 40 years.
One of the side effects of how and where they grew up is that they were always well known in their hometown. They immediately stood out and were often referred to as “The Triplets” or “The Three,” but that didn’t bother them at all. Growing up, they were like peas in a pod, doing everything together and even dressing alike. They had no idea of the interesting journey they would end up embarking on, especially considering the small-town lifestyle they were used to for the first couple decades of their lives.
As kids, they attended Jordan’s public schools and eventually went on to the University of Minnesota. As they got older, the triplets began being recognized by talent scouts and modeling agencies, but they couldn’t have possibly known where this would ultimately take them. Growing up, the Dahms dressed the same way, played with the same toys and even had the same group of friends. And it didn’t stop there. The girls even ended up with extremely similar personalities, something that’s even more rare than being three identical siblings.
In most cases, twins and triplets use their different personalities to stand out, but not the Dahms. There was basically no separation between the three of them in any aspects of their lives. They loved doing everything together, but it certainly had a profound impact on how they developed their own identities. The Dahms enjoyed a very happy and healthy upbringing and were always there for each other, but no matter what, there’s usually a downside. The triplets have spoken publicly about how challenging it was to be individuals, even to their parents…
Little Black Dots
As hard as it was for the triplets to tell themselves apart, it was even more difficult for their mom and dad, who had to go to extreme measures to make sure they didn’t get mixed up. One of their tricks was having little black dots tattooed on the girls’ backsides as babies to make sure they wouldn’t confuse the three. Nicole was given one dot, Jaclyn was given two and Erica wasn’t given one at all.
As little local celebrities, it was only a matter of time before the triplets grew up and starting getting attention on a larger scale. By the young age of 16, they were already being recruited by professionals. Right around when they were legally able to drive, Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm made the October 1994 cover of the very popular Teen Magazine. Their modeling career had officially begun, with so much more to follow…
The College Years
While they certainly enjoyed the modeling work, the Dahms never planned on seeking out an entertainment career in any way. As adolescents, they had dreams of growing up to work in the medical field. After graduation, they enrolled in nursing school at the University of Minnesota. And they were looking for much more than just a degree, they truly wanted to help people. The triplets invested a lot of hard work and energy into their collegiate studies until…
Girls of the Big Ten
After putting in a decent amount of time studying to become nurses at the U of M, the sisters came across something that caught their eye. A flyer at their school was advertising a modeling job for a special edition of Playboy called “Girls of the Big Ten.” While they had their reservations about appearing in Playboy, they decided that they would give it a shot. For all they knew, they might not make the cut…
Decisions Decisions Decisions
The casting directors noticed the girls even before realizing they were triplets, which just increased their chances of being chosen. Early on they were the frontrunners to win for the University of Minnesota, but this meant they had to actually consider posing nude. After deliberating about the issue at length, they decided that they would go ahead with the college photo shoot. Little did they know this was just the beginning of their careers…
They went from the college edition to the big leagues in no time, becoming only the second set of triplets to grace the centerfold of Playboy magazine. After the issue was published in December 1998, they became instant stars, opening all kinds of doors into the entertainment industry. This is even crazier considering they never had plans of pursuing a modeling career. With multiple options ahead of them, the Dahms had a lot to consider moving forward…
In order to proceed, the triplets had to look back at everything they’d been through together. From as long as they could remember, and even before, they loved to dress the same, enjoy the same activities, and even have the same friends. So they knew they would never pose for Playboy individually. This definitely factored into how they would handle these types of decisions as time went on and more opportunities continued to present themselves…
Their success with Playboy meant the world to them, but so did their education. With so much potential in both directions, they had to choose: Ignore the fame and continue with nursing school, or leave everything behind for a shot at stardom? After much thought, the Dahms decided they were going to drop out of college and move to Los Angeles. Before they knew it, the opportunities started rolling in, paving their way to celebrity…
Once they got to Hollywood, Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn decided to give acting a shot. They soon auditioned for an episode of the wildly popular show Boy Meets World. The casting call needed triplets, which totally increased their chances of landing the gig. After going through their first television casting experience, the Dahms were picked to not only appear in the episode, but the producers also decided to have the girls play themselves…
Boy Meets World
In the episode, the triplets move into an adjacent dorm from the regular characters Eric Matthews and Jack Hunter. They feel indebted to the guys because they helped them move into their apartment, so they decide to throw them a nice party, but because there’s only Jack and Eric and three of them, they have the party with a group of male triplets instead. The show was a perfect way to introduce them to a bigger audience.
Coming off the amazing success and popularity of their roles on Boy Meets World, the triplets moved on to other TV shows. They, along with their dad and older sister, appeared on an episode of Family Feud. Together, the family won $10,000. Speaking of family, it’s important to acknowledge where, and especially who, the Dahms come from. They’ve made sure to stay close to their family throughout their crazy lives and careers, which isn’t always the case.
The Other Sister
The triplets aren’t the only Dahm girls, they also have a sister. In this Instagram post, Jaclyn and the girls celebrate her birthday. She wrote, “Happy Birthday to my sweet sister Lisa!! Hope your day is Fantastic!!” While the three moved to Hollywood to pursue fame, Lisa stayed in Minnesota, moved to Minneapolis and became a real estate agent. But the sisters still make time to see each other as much as possible.
Mom and Dad
As crazy as their lives have been from an early age, the Dahms have never forgotten their roots. Their social media accounts show that they always have time for family. In this Instagram post, Jaclyn wrote, “Happy Birthday to the world’s #1 MOM. Love you!!!” It probably wasn’t easy to maintain such a strong connection to their parents, especially considering the difficult decisions they had to make as teenagers…
It must’ve been challenging for their mom and dad to wrap their heads around the idea of their girls posing nude for Playboy. While the triplets were able to turn their time with the magazine into a very diverse career, no one could’ve known that early on. The fact that the family stayed close throughout those early days of chasing stardom says a lot about them, and certainly speaks to what the sisters have done with their fame.
They’ve made a lot of famous friends from when they first started appearing in the Hollywood scene. Their Instagram accounts show them hanging out with Dale Earnhardt Jr., John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, comedian Heather McDonald, Van Halen’s David Lee Roth and drummer Travis Barker. They love to go to their talented friends’ shows, and have made appearing at all kinds of events a big part of their careers…
After achieving worldwide fame from appearing in Playboy, the triplets were in high demand to host, and sometimes just attend, a wide variety of different events. They’ve been paid to go to parties at high profile clubs and sporting events, but they’ve also shown up to support and take part in much smaller occasions, as well. This picture is from when they co-hosted a paintball show on Fox Sports World called Splatter Factor.
As busy as they’ve been, the girls love to bring friends and family on exciting trips. Coming from such humble beginnings, the triplets appreciate and take advantage of their ability to go on all kinds of fun vacations. While they share these awesome occasions with loved ones, the Dahms also make sure to chronicle these travel adventures on their social media pages, which often feature great pics from all over the place.
Life in the entertainment industry can be difficult. Stardom often changes people for the worst, with many celebrities losing touch with their real friends and family in exchange for more fame and success. But not the Dahm triplets. They’ve managed to maintain a balance in their work, which has been a driving force in their accomplishments as entertainers. This allows them to have a strong base, as well as the ability to take advantage of every opportunity.
After their appearances on Boy Meets World, Family Feud and at countless events, the triplets were then offered a chance to be featured on an episode of House Wars. This is a reality show whose tag line is “Four Families-Four Designers-Four Houses!” where four families compete to redesign a house over the course of eight weeks. Whoever wins get to keep the newly remodeled house. And just like their victory on Family Fued, the Dahms won House Wars too.
The Right Fit
While they were thrilled to win, the triplets were even more excited about how well they worked on this type of show. After House Wars, they auditioned for roles on the TV series Renovate My Family and were hired as construction team experts. Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn went on to appear in 16 full episodes of the show. But one of the triplets, Erica, would find more than just career success on the set of Renovate My Family…
Renovate My Family
Fox’s Renovate My Family was a home improvement/self-improvement reality show. The Dahm Triplets and a team of experts would renovate one lucky family’s home, based on the family’s needs and wants. But while the house was being rebuilt, the family would also have a chance to deal with their interpersonal issues and receive personal style makeovers. The host was Jay McGraw, son of Dr. Phil, and he caught the attention of one of the sisters.
Love At First Sight
The triplets, who once dreamt of becoming nurses, loved helping people on RMF. Beyond this, the middle sister, Erica, fell in love with host Jay McGraw. According to her, it was love at first sight. She recalled, “Jay knocked on our trailer door and asked to watch a movie… He came in, and we started talking. He made some funny jokes and from then on I couldn’t fight it. It was love at first sight.”
After Renovate My Family, Jay McGraw moved on to become an executive producer on the talk show The Doctors, along with his father Dr. Phil McGraw. The show features a panel of doctors who discuss different health issues and give advice. Erica and Jay’s relationship continued to keep growing and they eventually decided to get married. The couple wed on August 12, 2006 at Jay’s parents’ home in Beverly Hills. After they married, Jay had an interesting idea…
In no time at all Jay realized how great the triplets would be on The Doctors, which frequently features celebrities asking the panel very personal health questions, usually ones that viewers would be too embarrassed to ask their own doctors about. When the three sisters appeared on The Doctors, the show’s ratings sky-rocketed, and they were invited back multiple times. The triplets talked about a variety of health issues, but what happened next surprised everyone…
Soon after Erica and Jay tied the knot, the other two triplets also got married. It happened almost simultaneously, like most of the things that the triplets did in their lives. Now that all the Dahms were hitched, they began thinking about starting families. Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn went on The Doctors to talk to the specialists about having children and the odds that they themselves, being triplets, would have multiples of their own…
They were thrilled to find out that the odds were high, and as planned, the triplets got pregnant around the same time. They really wanted their babies to have the same birthday, but unfortunately, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. But this didn’t mean that one, or all, of them still couldn’t potentially have multiples. They couldn’t wait to find out, especially Erica and Jay, who both have a history of multiples in their families…
The triplets went back on The Doctors to do an on-screen sonogram to find out the sex of their babies and whether they were going to be having multiples. The sonogram revealed that all three babies were going to be girls, but no multiples. The Dahms all gave birth to their baby girls in 2010. During their pregnancies, they appeared on more episodes of The Doctors to discuss pregnancy issues, preparation for childbirth and other motherhood topics…
A Very Special Episode
Last year, The Doctors asked the triplets back for a very interesting reason. The team, along with journalist Lisa Guerrero from Inside Edition, had a special episode in mind. Due to the popularity of home DNA tests, The Doctors wanted to test their accuracy. So Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn agreed to each take home DNA tests that claim to reveal to be able to find out just how identical they are, and where their ancestry comes from…
The DNA Tests
The tests were pretty simple. All the triplets needed was to collect a bit of saliva, and the process is pretty cheap. The test tube was then mailed into the company, and a few weeks later the results were ready. Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn each took a 23andMe DNA test to assure that the three were, in fact, identical triplets. There was no doubt in their minds that the results would reflect what they already knew…
The DNA Results
When the tests were finished, the triplets went back on The Doctors to get the results, which of course confirmed the obvious. The fact that they’re now officially identical triplets came as no surprise. The Dahms are so identical that their fingerprints are the same and they can even open each other’s safes. But this wasn’t the only test they took, and it was the results of the next one that came with a twist…
The Ancestry Test
The second test the triplets agreed to take was designed to discover their ancestry. This is different from the first test in that it would provide results far more detailed and break down their ethnic origins. While the Dahms knew they had mostly European ancestry, the three weren’t sure what the results would say. They knew they were identical, but would that mean that they would also have identical ancestry? The results were shocking…
The Ancestry Results
While all three of their tests revealed they had 99% European ancestry, as expected, the breakdown of what regions they were made up of came completely out of nowhere. According to the tests, they all had different percentages from different regions. Nicole, the eldest, was 18% Irish and British. But her middle sister Erica was made up of only 16% Irish and British. And the bizarre results didn’t stop there, more unbelievable discoveries followed…
Another shocking revelation had to do with their French and German heritage. Nicole, the eldest of the triplets, was only a mere 11% French and German, while Jaclyn, the youngest of the triplets, was 18% French and German. Erica, the middle triplet, was a massive 22.3% French and German. If the triplets were identical and came from the same egg, how would it be possible that their individual ancestries were that different?
Beyond the triplets’ Irish, British, French and German ancestry, there were also traces of Scandinavian. Jaclyn and Erica were found to be 7.4% Scandinavian while Nicole was 11.4% Scandinavian. This aspect of the results just didn’t add up, which makes sense considering the tests were done to actually test the tests themselves. So what does this mean for their accuracy? The Doctors had a lot to say…
As surprised as the triplets were, The Doctors weren’t as shocked. For medical professions, these types of take-home tests can only do so much. Dr. Stork revealed to the audience that this experiment was more for entertainment purposes and shouldn’t be used in any actual scientific research. Dr. Stork admitted that the tests were not 100% accurate and that the technology just isn’t yet as reliable as some people think it is…
Lisa Guerrero, the Inside Edition reporter who was also involved in the episodes, was asked if she would consider taking the test herself. She said that she would, out of curiosity if nothing else. Guerrero admitted that even though the tests weren’t 100% accurate, they were still pretty close. She added that she would be interested in knowing her own ancestry as she is part Latina and English, but isn’t certain of the exact percentages.
In regard to take-home DNA tests, The Doctors said to proceed with a bit of caution. While the tests are very popular, the results should be taken with a grain of salt, seeing as today’s technology isn’t able to be 100% accurate when it comes to home testing. Even still, the triplets were thankful that they were able to be on the show and help spread awareness of the accuracy of home DNA testing.
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