In order to be able to tell them apart, their parents had to tattoo small dot marks on their bottoms – Nicole, the firstborn, has one dot. Erica, born second, has two. The youngest triplet, Jacklyn, has no dot. This was necessary as they not only looked identical but also were inseparable all the time.
They grew up in Jordan, a small town in Minnesota. They went to a public high school where they got a lot of attention. With less than 30,000 people living in the town as they were growing up, you can only imagine how much of an attraction they were. The modeling agencies quickly realized these girls are stunning.
The Dahm girls stayed together whenever they could. Many years later, in an interview with Playboy, Nicole said: “We rarely hold our own identity. We were always known as ‘You three’ or ‘The Triplets.’” They shared toys, clothes, friends. Basically, they held together through thick and thin.
Modeling agencies are always searching for the next beautiful girl. Imagine the interest they had for these three gorgeous ladies! Aged 16, the triplets were featured on the cover of Teen Magazine as they won the Great Model Search. This was just the first of their many successes in the modeling industry, creating the path towards one of the biggest magazines in the world.
However, the Dahm triplets planned on becoming nurses. All three of them were attending the University of Minnesota with one goal in mind – to work as nurses one day (perhaps in the same hospital?). While they were at the campus, they noticed a Playboy ad for new models to include in their “Girls of the Big Ten Special Edition”.
The triplets applied, but never expected this would turn their lives upside down. The casting agent got them a test shoot. It was time for a big decision – will they get naked in front of the Playboy cameras? Naturally, the decision had to be joint. After some debate among three of them, they became the first triplets in Playboy‘s monthly centerfold.
Since Nicole, Erica, and Jaclyn didn’t have a modeling career as their priority, this was a risky decision. In 1998, Jaclyn told Playboy Magazine that they “would never have done this as individuals.” What they didn’t know at the time was that this step would open many doors for them, and even lead to a surprising DNA test.
Dahm triplets actually had big opportunities in front of them after the Playboy feature. Erica once said that the Playboy issue was what started the lives for her and her sisters. She speaks of it as an “amazing experience,” something she wouldn’t ever change. Eventually, the three of them dropped out of the nursing school to pursue careers in the fabulous entertainment industry in Los Angeles.
It was as if the L.A. was just waiting for them to appear. They had opportunities everywhere – they appeared on Boy Meets World and Family Feud, and basically were the perfect and unique choice for identical triplets – as that’s what they were.
They got cast for an episode of House Wars, after which Fox hired them for Renovate My Family. That’s where their personal lives started changing too. The show was hosted by Jay McGraw, Dr. Phil’s son, who fell for the middle triplet, Erica. She admitted what she felt for him as he got to her trailer and asked her to watch a movie was “love at first sight.”
It was this meeting with Jay McGraw that led the triplets to eventually take a shocking DNA test. McGraw’s dad, Dr. Phil, is one of the executive producers on the show The Doctors, where a panel of doctors discusses various medical issues. From time to time, they feature celebrities on the show and discuss their own medical issues.
McGraw had an idea to feature the Dahm triplets on The Doctors since he met Erica in 2006. He wanted to discuss the details about their lives as triplets. The public loved it, as they loved everything these girls ever did. In fact, Jaclyn, Erica, and Nicole started appearing on the show regularly and talked about everything, including their medical similarities as triplets. That gave the producers an idea – a really good one, something that’s never been seen on the television before.
While they were on The Doctors, the triplets helped the ratings rise, but one particular happening helped boost the show even more. All three of them got pregnant at the same time. People went crazy about that, not believing they had to do everything together, even get pregnant together. As for the producers of The Doctors, they saw this as the perfect opportunity to feature the girls even more and do a crazy experiment with them.
In 2010, within weeks of each other, Nicole, Erica, and Jaclyn gave birth. What’s more incredible, they all welcomed beautiful baby girls! As Jaclyn said, “it must be that triplet bond,” as she explained how lucky they’ve all been. In March 2017, the producers called the triplets with a unique idea.
The triplets received a strange request from Jay McGraw and the rest of the crew. They wanted to introduce them to Lisa Guerrero, a journalist from Inside Edition, who would investigate the reliability of DNA and ancestry tests. The identical triplets served as a perfect example for testing how reliable these tests actually are.
The popularity of DNA tests you can do at home has risen over the past couple of years. Many people are willing to pay a fee in order to learn more about their ancestors and heritage. The leaders in the industry, 23andMe and Ancestry, provide people the opportunity to see where exactly they come from at a reasonable price.
The process is fairly simple. The customer receives a saliva kit and provides a sample of their DNA, then sends it to the DNA decoding companies. The tests can reveal interesting and shocking results and even lead to lost relatives. The Dahm triplets did the test and waited for the results to arrive. Little did they know that the results would shock the world.
The results come after a couple of weeks. The idea was that, in theory, as identical triplets they would all have to share the same DNA. However, Lisa Guerrero, the Inside Editionjournalist, had her doubts about these at-home kits and was very curious to see the results of the triplet experiment.
It goes without saying that Jaclyn, Nicole, and Erica never expected to end up here when they first applied for Playboy modeling ad. But here they are, taking a DNA test for a TV show and waiting to see if they are really identical. The three young girls from a small Minnesota town are now on the popular show, waiting impatiently to learn more about their ancestry.
On the other hand, it’s not that surprising. Back when they wanted to be nurses, the triplets were fascinated with biology and genetics. They were grateful for the opportunity to help improve the genetic testing system, but the end result shocked them. A special episode of The Doctor was scheduled for March 2017 in which the results would finally be revealed.
The first results surprised nobody – they showed the girls were completely identical. Fun fact: Erica can even open Nicole’s safe, as their fingerprints are as identical as possible in two human beings. Ok, so the first test told them something they already knew – that they are identical. What happened next?
The second test was more comprehensive and detailed. It showed each of the girls’ ancestry to see their ethnicity. Needless to say, the Dahm sisters expected to get the same results. However, something was not right.
All three of them were 99% European, as for their DNA. Good start. However, when the results were broken down further, the differences started emerging. Erica was said to be 16% Irish and British, while Nicole was 2% more Irish and British. As more results were revealed, the triplets and the audience were more and more confused.
More and more differences were shown as the results came in. All three of the Dahm sisters had different percentages of German and French heritage in their DNA – Erica had 22.3%, Jaclyn 18%, and Nicole 11%. Strange! Both the girls and The Doctors were very confused with the data they just read. The audience was in complete awe.
The Scandinavian part of the test was even more shocking. Erica and Jaclyn were identical here, with 7.4% of Scandinavian ancestries, while Nicole was found to be 11.4% Scandinavian. Nobody knew how any of this was even possible. They were supposed to share identical results.
The girls admitted they were surprised. Who wouldn’t be? They were born from the same egg and clearly have the same DNA, according to any biology law. In fact, didn’t the first test prove that? The Doctors host, Dr. Travis Stork, had his opinion about this type of tests. He said that they shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that they are more of a “home entertainment” tool than a real evidence for finding out about your heritage.