Identical Triplets Take a DNA Test Just to Discover the Worrying Truth

The Dahm triplets

The Dahm triplets consist of Nicole, Erica, and Jaclyn; all born (in that order) on December 12th, 1977. Their parents must have felt truly blessed to give birth to three identically beautiful little girls. People were absolutely stunned to see all three triplets together, thanks to their incredible looks – blonde hair, blue eyes. And to see triplets that look that identical is pretty rare, just adding to the public’s admiration of the girls.

Telling them apart

The triplets were almost impossible to tell apart, which led to their parents having to tattoo the bottoms of each child with special dot marks. Nicole was the firstborn triplet, so she has one dot. Erica was second, so has two. Finally, Jaclyn (the third born triplet) has no dot. The three were inseparable with far more than just their looks in common, leading to plenty of confusion for the friends and family.

Small town girls

The triplets grew up in Jordan, a small town in Minnesota, and attended a public, local high school. As you can imagine, living in a small town meant that all three got their fair share of attention. Less than 30,000 people lived in Jordan when the girls were growing up, which meant that everyone knew who they are. Both friends and modeling agencies were quick to pick up on how beautiful the girls are.

Everything together

Growing up, the Dahm triplets did everything they possibly could together. Nicole, in an interview with Playboy magazine, once said, “We rarely hold our own identity. We were always known as ‘You three’ or ‘The Triplets.’” They had the same friends, wore the same clothes, played with the same toys; the whole shebang. It could have caused rifts or arguments being so close, but the triplets stuck together through thick and thin.

Teen models

It will probably come as no surprise to learn that the girls were quickly scouted by modeling agencies; after all, where else could you find three beautiful triplets?! When they were just 16, they made it to the front cover of ‘Teen Magazine as the Great Model Search winners, with their matching blonde hair and blue eyes. This would be their first taste of the modeling industry, and it wouldn’t be long before they made it into one of the biggest magazines of all.

Nursing school

While they may have enjoyed a taste of modeling, the Dahm triplets were planning on making a career out of it. All three enrolled with the University of Minnesota, as part of the nursing school, in the hope that they would one day all be nurses (probably in the same hospital) together. It was at this college campus that they saw a flier advertising Playboy’s search for models to include in their “Girls of the Big Ten Special Edition.”

Test shoot

Jaclyn, Nicole, and Erica never imagined that applying for this modeling role would change their lives forever. They turned up to the casting agent who quickly realized how amazing the three beauties were; which then led to a test shoot. The triplets had to decide whether they would be willing to take their clothes off for such a well-known magazine, which of course was a joint decision. After much debate, the girls became the first triplets to make it into the monthly centerfold for Playboy.

Never have done it alone

It was a risque decision for the Dahm triplets to de-robe for Playboy and one that they didn’t take lightly. After all, they weren’t planning on making a career out of modeling (nevermind modeling without any clothes on)! Jaclyn told Playboy Magazine, in a 1998 interview that they “would never have done this (modeled for Playboy) as individuals.” Little did they know that this modeling contract would open so many doors – and lead to a shocking DNA test.

Making it big

After appearing in the centerfold for Playboy Magazine, big opportunities were opened up to the Dahm triplets. Erica was one quoted as saying that featuring in Playboy was what started her and her sisters’ lives. She goes on to say that it’s something she wouldn’t change for the world, and an “amazing experience.” The triplets dropped out of nursing school after their Playboy appearance, to pursue their own careers in the entertainment industry in LA.

TV appearances

As soon as the girls made their decision to try and make it big in LA, doors began opening everywhere. The Dahm triplets made it onto TV shows, including Boy Meets World, as the three beautiful women who lived in a dorm room close to Eric and Jack. In fact, the girls were typecast as the unobtainable triplets; because that’s what they were! They also made it onto an episode of Family Feud with their father and older sister, where they won $10,000.

Renovate my family

And still, opportunities kept coming, including winning an episode of House Wars. This led to the identical sisters being hired for Renovate My Family, a Fox reality TV show. It was here that their lives would change without them even knowing. Jay McGraw, the son of Dr. Phil, was the host of this show and it’s where he met middle triplet, Erica. Jay took a shine to Erica, which led to him knocking on her trailer door and asking to watch a movie. Erica has admitted, “it was love at first sight.”

Meet the doctors

This chance meeting with Jay McGraw would be what led the Dahm sisters to their surprising DNA test results. Dr. Phil, Jay McGraw’s father, is one of the executive producers on the TV show The Doctors, where different medical issues are discussed between a panel of doctors. Every now and then, celebrities are featured on the show to talk through their own medical issues and provide opinion and discussion.

Triplet health

After McGraw married Erica in 2006, he had the idea to feature the triplets on The Doctors, where they could talk about their lives and health as triplets. The public loved it, particularly as the girls are so beautiful and intriguing. Erica, Jaclyn, and Nicole started making regular appearances on the TV show, where they’d talk about everything from trying to get pregnant through to their medical similarities as triplets. The producers of The Doctors suddenly had an idea; one that would make for some seriously good TV.

Expanding the family

During their time on The Doctors, ratings soared, but there was one medical phenomenon that really helped boost the show. All three triplets got pregnant at the same time, at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010. People couldn’t believe that all three were so alike, and had to do everything together, including getting pregnant. This led to the producers of The Doctors featuring the girls even more and becoming keen to try something incredible out.

Triple pregnancy

Within just weeks of each other, in 2010, the Dahm triplets all gave birth. Not only did they give birth around the same time, but they all gave birth to beautiful little girls. Now that really is spooky! Jaclyn told Playboy how “it must be that triplet bond,” before going on to say how lucky and fortunate they’ve all been. Producers from The Doctors let the girls settle into motherhood before calling them in March 2017 with their intriguing idea.

Pitching the idea

Jay McGraw and the other producers of The Doctors approached the triplets at the beginning of 2017 with a rather strange request. They wanted to bring in a journalist from Inside Edition, Lisa Guerrero, to investigate whether DNA and ancestry tests were actually reliable. No one had ever had the opportunity to test the reliability of these kits on identical triplets before, but no one expected the shocking results that were to come from them.

Popular DNA tests

At-home DNA and ancestry tests have risen in popularity over the years, with people paying out to learn a bit more about who they are and where they come from. 23andMe and Ancestry have become leaders in the industry, giving people the opportunity to find out exactly what their heritage is and whether they have different ethnicities within them. These DNA tests, carried out at home, are reasonably priced and easy enough to do at home.

Taking the test

The DNA test itself is pretty simple, involving a saliva kit that arrives in the post. Once you have provided a sample of your saliva, these companies can then decode your DNA and find out more about your heritage. Some can even track long lost relatives down! The triplets provided their saliva sample, shipped it back to the company, and awaited their results. They didn’t quite know how these results would shock the world, however.

Waiting for results

It takes just a couple of weeks for the results of the DNA test to be ready, so the Dahm triplets didn’t have to wait long to see what the results would be. In theory, being identical, all three girls should have identical DNA to match. However, Lisa Guerrero, the journalist from Inside Edition, was dubious about the at-home testing kits and couldn’t wait to see the results live on The Doctors.

Never in a million years

When Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn first applied for that Playboy modeling job, they would never have expected to be where they are today. Taking a DNA test for a popular TV show, waiting for results that would either prove or disprove how identical they really are. Starting off as just three young ladies from a small town in Minnesota, to sitting on The Doctors couch waiting to learn about their DNA.

Fascinated by DNA

As the Dahm triplets were planning on being nurses, they’d always been fascinated by genetics and biology. It made sense for them to help improve the genetic testing system, but they never expected to be quite so shocked by the results of their DNA tests. The tests were sent to 23andMe, with the results to be read out live on a special episode of The Doctors in March 2017.

Pretty identical

The first results that came through weren’t really much of a surprise to the triplets or the audience at home. The results showed that the siblings were definitely identical; big shocker there. In fact, these girls are so alike that Nicole’s safe can be opened up by Erica because their fingerprints are almost identical. They can trick the fingerprint technology into thinking they’re the other triplet. Crazy, right? So the test telling them they were identical was correct. What next?

Chasing ancestors

The second test the girls had to take was to see a bit more than just whether they were identical or not. This test would delve into their ancestry, in order to see what ethnicities the girls were and what countries their ancestors were from. As the result of the first DNA test had come back identical, the Dahm triplets were expecting this one to have the same results as well. However, the live show didn’t go exactly to plan.

A slight discrepancy

The basics of the test showed that the three girls were, in fact, all 99% European, according to their DNA. So far, so identical. What became strange, however, was when their DNA was broken down even further. For example, Erica was found to be 16% Irish and British, whereas Nicole was 2% MORE Irish and British. How could this be? The results continued to come in, confusing the triplets, the doctors, and the audience.

Even bigger gaps

More results began coming in, which showed even bigger differences between some of the triplets and their supposed origins. The 23andMe test showed that all three of the triplets had completely different percentages of French and German heritage; Nicole at 11%, Jaclyn at 18% and Erica 22.3%. How could three siblings, with identical DNA, suddenly have different ancestry? The girls were clearly confused about the mixed results, as were The Doctors on the show. As different numbers flashed up, the audience gasped.

Not adding up

When it came to the Scandinavian part of the test, there were yet even more discrepancies. The triplets and experts were shocked to learn that while Erica and Jaclyn both had exactly the same percentage (7.4%), it was Nicole that had a different result. According to the test, Nicole was 11.4% Scandinavian, almost 4% more than her younger sisters. How could this be? Everyone watching was shocked to learn the sheer differences in the numbers.

It’s impossible

All three were unable to contain their shocked reactions when the results were discovered. Nicole admitted that she was surprised; after all, they came from the same egg and have the same DNA. The first test had proved that! Dr. Travis Stork, the host of The Doctors, had a few things to say about these kinds of tests too. He said these home-tests should only really be used for “entertainment” and not used as real evidence for your heritage.

Not 100% accurate?

Dr. Stork went on to say that the tests you get sent in the post are nowhere near advanced enough yet to be 100% accurate. He admitted there were always going to be some discrepancies in the results. While we may have come so far in the technology of genetic testing, he said, “you can’t just spit in a cup and have every single answer that you are looking for.” With Lisa Guerrero already being unsure of the at-home testing kits, did that mean the doctor and the journalist disapprove of them?

Test #2

While Lisa Guerrero initially had her reservations about the reliability of these genetic tests, she admitted on the show that she would be interested in taking one of the tests herself in the future. The journalist said she knew she was Latina on her mom’s side and English on her Dad’s, but that she then wanted to know by how much. She said, “it’s piqued my curiosity.” While the tests aren’t quite as advanced as they could be yet, they still do give interesting insights into DNA, genetics, and ancestry.

Take a better test

While Lisa was keen to get a test done herself, she admitted she would probably have something a bit more advanced with a doctor. Of course, these tests cost a bit more money, but they are more advanced and can go into greater detail. Both the journalist and doctor said they could see why these tests were so popular; after all, we all want to know who we are and where we come from!

What now?

All three sisters never expected to be this shocked by the results of the test, but are glad they’re now raising awareness about these types of DNA testing. Since the show, quite a lot has changed for all three of the Dahm triplets. They’ve come a long way from that small town of Jordan, their stint in Playboy magazine, and even just since appearing on the couch on The Doctors. So, what are they up to now?

More babies

Of course, the girls are just as gorgeous as they have always been. And just as identical. A few years after giving birth to their daughters within weeks of each other, they all gave birth to sons around the same time as well. This means all three triplets are married, with one daughter and one son. As we said, they always do everything together, and you don’t need a DNA test to prove that they really are identical in both looks and personality.

Rumors of divorce

The downside of living a life so public is that there are always going to be rumors and hurtful news stories. Jay McGraw and triplet Erica are constantly battling with divorce rumors, just like Dr. Phil (Jay’s father) and his wife, Robin. It seems as though they can’t escape the tabloid rumor mill! Of course, marriages in the public eye are always going to have their ups and downs, it comes with the territory.

The perfect wedding

Jay and Erica had the most perfect wedding ceremony back in August 2006, at the property of Dr. Phil and his wife Robin, in Beverly Hills. The couple wrote their own personal vows at their intimate wedding ceremony, with 400 guests there to share in their special day. Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, admitted that the whole thing was extremely emotional after she noticed Phil was tearing up, which led to her crying with “tears of joy.”

Popping the Question

Jay McGraw dished all the details on how he popped the question to Erica on an episode of Dr. Phil once. He’d taken Erica to Dallas, Texas, where he got down on one knee and “asked her to spend the rest of her life with me.” Super romantic. The ring was five-carat platinum, complete with diamonds and two green emeralds. That’s one giant rock to carry around on your finger, lucky girl!

Triplet bridesmaids

What made the wedding day even more special was that Erica’s sisters were all bridesmaids. How many people can say that they’ve got identical bridesmaids?! They wore stunning bridesmaid dresses designed by Bradley Bayou that (nearly) upstaged the bride. Erica Dahm wore a jaw-dropping Chado Ralph Rucci gown, designed specifically for her. All three were truly a sight to behold. It’s not every day you see equally beautiful, identical bridesmaids and bride.

Erica and Jay’s children

As we said before, Erica has one daughter and one son; just like the rest of the sisters! Not long after Erica and Jay got married, they had their daughter Aver Elizabeth. A year later their son, London Philip was born in 2011. Both children are often featured on their parents’ social media pages and seem absolutely adorable. Jay and Erica also seem ridiculously loved up, despite all of the divorce rumors circulating.

Father in law

Dr. Phil (Jay McGraw’s father) has been involved with the couple practically from the beginning. When Jay told Phil he was going to propose to Erica, he was over the moon that he was going to pop the question. He also served as the best man to Jay for their big day which is a truly special father and son bond. Jay said on Dr. Phil that he thought his parents “love her almost as much as I do.” It’s gotta be nice to have such a strong family unit.

Jaclyn’s husband

It’s not all just about Erica and her husband, however. Jaclyn also struck gold when she married the handsome man of her dreams, Billy Dolan. The pair are constantly showing off their insanely beautiful family on social media, and often go on vacations with Erica and Jay. You’ll always see them hanging out at the beach together or attending concerts as a foursome.

All those opportunities

And still, the girls still can’t quite believe how many opportunities have opened up since that fateful Playboy test shoot. When reflecting back on how far they’ve come from their days as teenagers in Jordan, Minnesota, they said, “It’s something you never experience when you’re from a small town of 2,000 people, and all of a sudden you’re in a magazine all around the world.” Erica also said the best part was that her sisters did it with her. Aww!

Reality TV

Since their Playboy debut, all three sisters have tried their hand at reality TV and always get a popular reception. Once you get a taste of the limelight, it’s hard to stay out of it. Their most recent TV appearance was on Relic Hunter, a Canadian TV show about someone who tries to return important artifacts to museums. All three of the Dahm triplets have said they’d love to feature in Playboy magazine again too.