Playboy readers opened the December 1998 issue of the magazine and found not one, not two but THREE Playmates gracing the monthly centerfold. And even more surprising, all three models looked exactly the same.
Erica, Jaclyn and Nicole Dahm were the first ever Playmates triplets. The only way to distinguish these identical sisters is by the number of dots tattooed on their butts at birth. Nicole has one, Erica two and Jaclyn none. They’ve spent their entire lives together since the womb, so it’s no surprise they decided to share their Playboy pictorial.
“We would never have done this as individuals,” Jaclyn, the youngest by five minutes, told Playboy in 1998.
The Minnesota sisters stood out growing up in a town with a population of less than 3,0000. Schools separated them into different classes so teachers wouldn’t get confused. The triplets shared the same clothes, toys and room as kids, which could be difficult at times.
“We rarely had our own identity. We were always known as ‘You three’ or ‘The Triplets,’” Nicole, the oldest, told Playboy.com in a recent interview. “But they were my best friends. We always had somebody to give advice and could trust to tell you the truth. And we always had half a softball team ready to go.”
All three triplets enrolled at the University of Minnesota’s nursing school after high school. While walking around campus one day, they noticed a flier advertising Playboy’s Girls of the Big Ten special edition. The Dahms decided to give it a try and as soon as the casting agent found out they were triplets, they were accepted for a test shoot.
Playboy and Fame
After their magazine came out the Dahm Triplets became a hot commodity in the entertainment world. They dropped out of school and moved to Los Angeles to take advantage of new opportunities. They appeared in a number of television shows including Boy Meets World, The Norm Show and Relic Hunters. They also had small parts in a few movies such as Juwanna Man and Pauly Shore is Dead. The phone wouldn’t stop ringing as the triplets found modeling work around the globe from Tokyo to Paris.
“It’s something you never experience when you’re from a small town of 2,000 people, and all of the sudden you’re in a magazine all around the world,” says Erica. “It was a fun and fast ride, and the best part was my sisters doing it with me.”
Reality television couldn’t ask for a more perfect story than the Dahm Triplets. Even before appearing in Playboy they appeared on various talk shows such as The Jenny Jones Show and Ricki Lake, and their pictorial only increased their demand. They’ve even competed in game shows such as 1 vs. 100 and Family Feud, where they won nearly $10,000 with their older sister and father.
After winning an episode of House Wars, the sisters were hired as cast members on the Fox television series Renovate My Family. Jay McGraw, son of TV personality Dr. Phil, was the host of the show and became romantically involved with Erica.
“Jay knocked on our trailer door and asked, ‘Do you guys want to watch a movie in my trailer?’ And we said, ‘No, but you can come into ours,’” she says. “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.”
Erica and Jay got married in 2006. The couple worked together to help develop a television series that became The Doctors. Erica helped cast the show and did other behind-the-scenes work with her husband. However, before the show got on-air she became pregnant with their first child, so she focused on the family life.
Triplets in Motherhood
Believe it or not, the Dahm Triplets all experienced motherhood together as well. Nicole and Jaclyn each got pregnant a few weeks before Erica. And each sister’s first child was a girl.
“It must be that triplet bond,” says Jaclyn. “It’s weird how fortunate and lucky we’ve all been.”
Simultaneous pregnancy saw renewed interest in the Triplets. One of Jay’s fellow producers previously worked on The Montel Williams Show and knew the Dahm sisters were ratings gold. He pushed to book the expecting mothers on The Doctors together. The Dahms ended up receiving their ultrasounds together on the show. After welcoming their daughters, each sister became pregnant again a few years later, all sons this time.
The new triplet moms pursued new business ventures that combined their Playmate fame and their new family-oriented focus. They started their own bakery, “Triplets Gourmet,” selling desserts and treats online. They expanded the business to include a series of YouTube videos as well. After their first babies, they produced and starred in a workout video, “3, 2, 1…Get Your Body Back,” to help other new moms get back into shape. As if that weren’t enough, they created their own baby blanket line, “Triplets Paisley,” for the company Swaddle Designs.
After her second child Nicole decided she needed a change. She told her husband, “I feel like my brain cells are turning to mush. All I do is baby talk and play on the floor.” Luckily her husband owned real estate in downtown San Diego. He pushed her to start her own restaurant in the space. She embraced the opportunity and opened “Lucky Bastard Saloon” in 2013. It’s exactly what Nicole needed at the time.
“I never dreamt it would be this much work,” she says. “I’ve learned five years of running a restaurant experience in six months. I do most of the marketing, advertising and hiring. I designed the logo. I book all the bands. I’m pretty hands-on. I’m busier than I ever though I’d be.”
The restaurant features dancing waitresses and live music. Nicole hopes to open a few more “Lucky Bastard” locations and make it a franchise. She also wants her sisters to open their own in Los Angeles and perhaps pitch a reality show revolving around the Dahm Triplets running a restaurant chain.
Right now Erica and Jaclyn are focused on their families. But they’ve made some plans and put them on the backburner until their kids get older.
“It’s hard when you have a kid and an infant. It’s a lot of work,” says Jaclyn. “It’s a lot of clothes washing, cooking and keeping the house together. It’s hard to find time. But we’ll get back to it.”
Back to Playboy?
The Dahm Triplets still speak highly of Playboy and their Playmate centerfold. And don’t think the their relationship with the magazine is over. The sisters hope to appear in new pictorials and show that they’re still as hot as they were back at the University of Minnesota.
“Playboy started my life,” says Erica. “It started all three of our lives. I would never change it for the world. It’s created the journey that we’re still on. It’s an amazing experience that I will never give up.”