Most identical triplets live interesting lives. Imagine growing up with two other people who look exactly like you and share your birthday. The Dahm Triplets have certainly lived interesting lives. These girls grew up to be stunning young women who would go on to do amazing things in the world.
When they were adults, they decided to take a DNA test to see how alike they really were (and to learn more about their family history). What they learned from that DNA test completely shocked all three of them.
The Day The World Met The Dahm Triplets
In December of 1977, the world met the Dahm triplets— three identical girls named Nicole, Erica, and Jaclyn. The triplets’ parents were initially quite worried when they learned that they were going to have three new babies to take care of, plus multiple births can have pretty serious complications.
Luckily for the Dahm family, the triplets were born happy and healthy. As they got older, it became clear to everybody around them that these girls definitely weren’t lacking in the looks department.
Parenting Identical Girls
The triplets’ parents had to find ways to tell their daughters apart when they were babies. It can be difficult to tell babies who aren’t identical apart before they really develop any defining features or a distinct personality— telling triplets apart is nearly impossible.
The girls’ parents decided to do something rather radical. They had their daughters tattooed. They tattooed tiny dots on the grils’ bottoms so they could tell them apart. Now the dots just look like freckles.
Living In A Small Town
The Dahm triplets didn’t grow up in a big city. They spent their childhoods in the small town of Jordan, Minnesota. Less than 30,000 people live in Jordan. These girls definitely stood out at their local elementary school.
These girls were the talk of the town, and people often spotted them out together. It’s hard to miss three identical blonde girls. Pretty soon, they started to get noticed for their striking features and modeling agents started contacting them.
They Were Always Together
The Dahm triplets formed a very strong bond, as twins and triplets often do. They were the best of friends while they were younger and they were always seen hanging out together. While some twins and triplets don’t like dressing like one another, the Dahm triplets fully embraced their similarities.
Nicole told Playboy magazine, “We rarely hold our own identity. We were always known as ‘You three’ or ‘The Triplets.’” These still love being one of three sisters.
Their Big Break
By the time the triplets were in their teens, they had already been noticed by several modeling agencies. There weren’t many modeling opportunities in the small town of Jordan, Minnesota, but when they were 16, they entered a contest run by Teen Magazine called The Great Model Search.
The triplets ended up winning the contest, which opened up a lot of doors for them in the modeling world. Winning this contest was the start of their Hollywood career.
They Had Some Other Goals Too
Even though the triplets were interested in modeling, and they were obviously good enough at modeling to win a national contest, they didn’t make modeling their main focus. They decided to attend school at the University of Minnesota. All three triplets started studying to become nurses.
While they were on campus at the University of Minnesota, they came across a flyer that was advertising a Playboy magazine modeling contest. Playboy was looking for models to include in their “Girls of the Big Ten Special Edition” issue.
A Life-Changing Decision
The triplets weren’t sure if posing for Playboy was the best decision for them brand-wise. Of course, they knew about Playboy‘s reputation, but they also know that a name like Playboy could really boost their careers.
With some encouragement from her parents, Jaclyn, Nicole, and Erica decided to take the plunge and submit an entry to this contest. Once playboy saw their submission, they were immediately interested. Pretty soon, the Dahm Triplets became the first triplets ever to be featured as the centerfold in Playboy magazine.
Power In Numbers
The triplets knew that they would face some backlash for appearing in Playboy. They were taking a risk, but to them, it was a risk worth taking. Jaclyn, Erica, and Nicole definitely had to lean on each other through this whole experience.
The girls were interviewed by Playboy magazine for their famous spread in 1998. Jaclyn said, “We would never have done this (modeled for Playboy) as individuals.” At the time, they had no idea how impactful this opportunity would be for them.
The Dahm Triplets Arrive In Hollywood
Most people who are hoping to become actors in Hollywood have to spend a lot of time auditioning and struggling before they get their big break or start making any real money. When the Dahm triplets arrived in Hollywood, they found success almost immediately. Clearly, being a triplet has its perks. These girls cornered the market on identical attractive blonde women.
The triplets appeared on the hit show Boy Meets World. they played gorgeous sisters who lived near the older brother Eric’s dorm room that he shared with his friend Jack.
The Meeting Of A Lifetime
The girls continued to see success in Hollywood. They got roles in various movies such as Juwanna Mann and Pauly Shore Is Dead. They also won an episode of the show House Wars and appeared on an episode of Renovate My Family which aired on the Fox network.
Appearing on this show had a huge impact on the course of Erica Dahm’s life. Erica, the second-born twin, met Jay McGraw, Dr. Phil’s son on the set of this show. Jay was the host of Renovate My Family.
Erica’s Future Husband
Erica and Jay immediately had chemistry. Sparks flew between them as soon as they started talking. They went out on a few dates and began a loving relationship. Jay, along with his father Phil McGraw, are producers on the TV show The Doctors. The Doctors is a daytime talk show hosted by a panel of doctors who discuss various health issues and topics.
Jay had the brilliant idea to bring Erica and her sisters on to the show to discuss their genetics as triplets.
Asking The Big Question
Jay knew that he was absolutely in love with Erica and he was ready to pop the question. Jay asked Erica to marry him in Dallas, Texas, which is where he is from.
Jay said that he “asked her to spend the rest of her life with me.” The happy couple also talked about Erica’s amazing engagement ring which is a very impressive five-carat platinum ring outfitted with a tremendous diamond as well as two green emeralds.
Erica’s Maids Of Honor
Of course, when the time came for Erica and Jay to get married, Erica wanted to have her sisters standing beside her on her big day. Not many brides have two identical bridesmaids who are also identical to the bride. Erica’s bridesmaids were outfitted in stunning gowns made by Bradley Bayou.
Erica, the bride herself, wore an absolutely stunning Chado Ralph Rucci gown. Erica’s gown was custom made for her, but of course, because she’s an identical triplet, it would have fit her sisters perfectly as well.
A Night To Remember
Erica and Jay got married in August of 2006. They’ve now been happily married for over ten years. Jay and Erica got married at Dr. Phil and his wife Robin’s sprawling property in Beverly Hills.
The couple wrote their own vows and they had almost 400 guests present at their reception. Robin McGraw said she noticed her husband Dr. Phil getting a bit teary-eyed, which of course made her quite emotional. She said she was crying “tears of joy” over her son and his new beautiful bride.
Dr. Phil’s Relationship With Erica
Somehow, this smalltown girl from Jordan, Minnesota ended up marrying the son of the most successful daytime talk show host of all time. Dr. Phil and Erica get anold very well. He was so excited when Jay told him that he and Erica were going to get married.
=While appearing on his dad’s show Jay said that he felt that his parents “love her almost as much as I do” (when referring to Erica). How beautiful!
Another Triplet Found Her Other Half
It wasn’t just Erica who found her prince charming. Erica’s sister Jaclyn met a man named Billy Dolan who she fell head over heels in love with. Jaclyn and Billy are now married and they share photos of their exciting lofe on social media. They seem to be quite close with Erica and Jay.
Nicole, the thrid Dahm triplet, is also settled down and married to Michael Kelly. All three of the girls often get together with their new families.
The Triplets Appear On The Doctors
The show The Doctors often has celebrity guests appear on the show as co-hosts. The triplets first appearance on The Doctors was definitely a hit and the three soon started making regular appearances on the show.
The Dahm triplets also discussed various women’s topics and other interesting issues that they have faced as identical siblings. Soon after the triplets first appeared on the show, Jay had an idea for an interesting medical experiment. Keep reading to learn how that went.
They All Got Pregnant At The Same Time
These three women all got married and settled down around the same time, but luck struck again when the triplets all learned that they had gotten pregnant within months of each other. Now they could share the experience of pregnancy and motherhood just like they shared all of their other experiences growing up.
The Doctors had to feature this amazing story on the show. Who could have guessed that these women would all get pregnant at the same time?
The Next Generation
All three of the Dham triplets gave birth to their first child in 2010. In another twist of fate, it turned out that all of the women had given birth to baby girls. These three little girls would grow up to be cousins and best friends.
All of the triplets took some time in 2010 to bond with their babies and step away from the limelight. They wanted to take a year to enjoy being mothers to their new babies.
Taking The DNA Test
The girls didn’t actually appear on television again until 2017. Between 2010 and 2017, they all had more children and spent time with their families. All three women ended up giving birth to boys the second time they had children.
Jay and Dr. Phil were noticing the increasing popularity of at-home DNA test kits. They thought it would be interesting to test the reliability of such tests. They also brought on board Inside Edition journalist Lisa Guerrero to conduct the research.
What Are The Chances?
After the girls’ all had their daughters within months of one another, they also all gave birth to their second children – sons, also within a relatively short time period of one another. All three girls are now married with a daughter and son born in that order. What are the odds of that?
Of course, it must be an absolute dream come true to be able to raise your children together with your siblings and their children.
What’s All The Hype About?
In recent years, DNA tests for ancestry have become more popular than ever before. Particularly, because now you can take these DNA tests in the comfort of your own home. The tests claim to be able to tell people information about their ancestors and ethnic makeup, including what countries a person might derive from.
Several companies including 23andMe and Ancestry provide some of the most popular at-home DNA tests on the market today. How reliable are these tests, though?
All Of The Answers Are In Your DNA
While in the past you would have to go to a hospital or a lab to have a test like this done, now you can do it yourself in your own home. All you need to do is spit into a tube, send that tube of spit off to a lab, and wait for your results (which will be made available online). It almost seems too easy.
Most companies sell DNA ancestry kits for around $100-$200.
And Now They Wait
After the girls sent in their tubes of saliva, they waited patiently for their results. Results typically are able to tell you where your ancestors are originally from, and sometimes you are even able to be linked to actual living relatives.
The triplets took the test for an episode of The Doctors that Jay was panning. They assumed that all of their DNA results would be identical because they’re identical triplets. The actual results of the test shocked everybody.
They’re Supposed To Have Identical DNA
After you submit the saliva sample to the company, it takes a few weeks before the DNA tests are returned to you. The Dahm triplets did everything by the book. No one was expecting any kind of out of the ordinary surprises.
Nobody except Lisa Guerrero. Guerrero was the Inside Edition journalist responsible for this experiment. She was already doubtful about the reliability of the tests. She thought perhaps the companies weren’t as reliable as they were letting on.
Are They Really Triplets?
It seems obvious to all of us that Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn are triplets. I mean, they look so much alike that we have a hard time telling them apart. They’ve gone through life practically attached at the hip.
After all those modeling gigs, marriages, babies, and life experiences, they found themselves ready to have their DNA results revealed live on television! One day, their biographies will certainly be an interesting read. The girls also discussed that they are interested in genetics and biology, especially because they originally studied to be nurses.
What The DNA Tests Revealed
23andMe is known for their ancestral DNA testing but they are also known for offering testing which can reveal even more delicate information like health risks. When the time came for the girls to appear on the show, their first results were relatively uninteresting.
For one, it definitely showed that they were identical triplets. That came as no surprise. These women even have the same fingerprints (which means that they can all get into each other’s iPhones).
Their Ancestral DNA
The next part of the reveal focused on the results which showed the triplets’ individual ethnic makeups. This particular part of the results actually went into the ancestry of the triplets. It’s supposed to reveal where their ancestors come from. All siblings should technically share the same ancestry results.
The girls expected to all have the same genetic makeup when it came to ancestral DNA, but 23andme seemed to say otherwise. How could this possibly make sense?
How Could Their Ethnicities Be Different?
All three of the triplets had their result show up as being 99% European. However, it was when that percentage began to be broken down that some real discrepancies began to arise. As the results were revealed on the show, the girls, the audience and even the doctors themselves were more and more shocked at the results.
First, it was revealed that Erica had around 16% Irish and British ancestry, however, Nicole had 18% Irish and British ancestry.
Drastically Different Numbers
The rest of the results continued to deviate from what was expected. The 23andMe test showed that while all three girls had French and German heritage, each triplet had a different percentage. Nicole had 11% French and German, Jaclyn had 18% and Erica had 22.3%. Eleven to 22% seems like a pretty drastic difference for triplets with identical DNA.
For their Doctors segment, each time a new percentage was revealed it would flash on the screen and the audience would react in absolute amazement.
So What Is Their Ethnicity?
The final ethnicity to be revealed was the girls’ Scandinavian heritage. Two of the girls, Erica, and Jaclyn both had the exact same results with the same percentage of Scandinavian ancestry at 7.4%. However, Nicole had a totally different and higher percentage at 11.4% Scandinavian.
The Doctors, the Inside Edition reporter, and the Dahm triplets themselves were totally shocked at the amazing results. It turns out, these amazing ancestry DNA results might reveal even more about DNA science than previously known.
Are The Tests Wrong?
The Dahm Triplets were totally confused about their results. Nicole said on the program, “I’m surprised. I’m surprised because we came from the same egg and DNA. How are our ancestries different?” Dr. Travis Stork, one of the hosts, expressed his own doubt about the results.
Dr. Stork said that perhaps these tests should just be used for fun instead of being taken as a serious indicator for ethnicity. Inside Edition also ran their own show that showed the results, however, they also showcased two other sets of triplets and they also used two other types of DNA kits.
These Tests Shouldn’t Be Taken Too Seriously
Dr. Travis Stork said, “I think the answer here is that we’ve come so far in terms of genetic testing, but you can’t just spit in a cup and have every single answer that you are looking for.”
Perhaps one day, at-home testing for ancestry will become even more streamlined and accurate. However, in the meantime, it’s definitely interesting to get a peek inside where your ancestors may have descended from many years ago! Just don’t expect the test to have all the answers just yet.
The Journalists Take
Inside Edition journalist Lisa Guerrero, originally expressed she was unsure if taking a DNA test in your own home could provide reliable results. However, she also conceded that she was interested in finding out more about her own ethnic makeup and would also like to take a DNA test herself.
Lisa said that she knew her mother’s ancestry was of some kind of Latino descent while her father was English. However, she was unsure about the actual background of her ancestors.
Alternatives To 23andMe
The at-home tests seem to be imperfect as far as percentages go, however they do undoubtedly offer insight into one’s background and ethnic makeup. Lisa mentioned on the show that while she was very interested in pursuing her own ethnic background, she might not go the route of the at-home DNA test.
Instead, she said she would probably have a personalized test run by a doctor or genetic scientist. This kind of testing is definitely on the more expensive side, but the results are far more accurate.
The Dham Triplets In The Spotlight
Well, the Dahm Triplets certainly never expected to have such interesting DNA results revealed on daytime television. Although, if they were to get specialty genetic testing done with a personal doctor, they might find that they are more similar than their first test revealed.
They expressed that they were happy their experience revealed more eye-opening information about taking at-home DNA tests. The could never have guessed that their modeling journey would have brought them to The Doctors‘ stage.
Three Lucky Ladies
The Dahm Triplets have definitely been granted a charmed life. They catapulted to fame after growing up in a small town where they stood out immensely due to their beauty and of course the fact that they’re triplets!
The girls have 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.” The triplets are so glad that they got to go on this journey together.
Divorce Rumors On The Rise
The Dham triplets have lived their lives in the spotlight, and when you’re a person the public is interested in, rumors about your life are pretty much inevitable. Jay and Erica McGraw have often been the subjects of divorce rumors. Jay has already had to deal with similar rumors about his parent’s marriage, so this is probably not new territory to him.
Although, it seems as though these rumors are unfounded. Everything is fine and these two have remained married for over ten years now!
Jay And Erica’s Beautiful Children
Jay and Erica certainly have one thing going for them – a beautiful family! The two share a beautiful daughter together named Avery Elizabeth. Only one year after the birth of Avery, the two also became parents to a son named London Phillip.
Erica often shares photos of their adorable kids all over social media. The cute sibling duo also loves to spend time with their other cousins and grandparents. As far as we can tell, all seems to be going quite well in the Dahm-McGraw home.
What They’re Doing Next
These triplets have been involved in all kinds of entertainment, from magazines to television shows to movies to reality TV. Eight years ago the girls also started up a YouTube channel called TripletsGourmet.
As for what their future holds, the triplets have said that they would all be willing to do another shoot for Playboy magazine one day. Whatever they choose to pursue, we’re sure they’re going to make an impact. These three women have already accomplished so much.