In Single 5th-Grade, a Record Number of Twins

Highcrest Middle School's 24 sets look to be new Guinness record

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2013 9:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Wilmette, Ill., might seriously want to get its water checked: When 11-year-old brothers Luke and Ryan Novosel started scheming on the wacky or weird ways in which they might land in the Guinness Book of World Records, they eventually gave up on loudest burp and found their answer in their Highcrest Middle School directory—which revealed an eye-popping 24 sets of twins in the fifth grade alone. "We were absolutely shocked," says their mom. And it's not just squeaking by the current record of 16, "it's blowing it away."

Luke and Ryan sent Guinness an application complete with birth certificates, photos, and proof that all are enrolled at the school, and are hoping for an official thumbs-up in several weeks. Some fun facts from Highcrest's twins-a-palooza:

  • The vast majority are fraternal: There are three sets of boy-boy twins, 11 sets of girl-girl twins, and 10 sets of boy-girl twins. The two sets of identical twins are girls.
  • Different birthdays: Two sets of twins were born on different sides of midnight.
  • It could get even more twin-y: Highcrest students will eventually hit high school, which will pool other schools—and possibly more twins.
  • The current record-holders: Three schools have 16 pairs of twins in one grade. They are Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines, Iowa; Staples High School in Westport, Conn.; and Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill.
Highcrest is having fun with it: When the AP visited, sisters Mady and Mery Drilling-Coren were rocking it Dr. Seuss-style with red T-shirts that said, "Thing 1" and "Thing 2." "The whole school thinks it's the greatest thing. It's been such a fun, creative experience," says the Novosels' mom.

This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill.  The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill. The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.   (Scott Eisen)
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill.  The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill. The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.   (Scott Eisen)
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill.  The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill. The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.   (Scott Eisen)
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill.  The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.
This June 6, 2013 photo shows 24 sets of twins who are fifth-graders at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Ill. The school is trying to break a Guinness World Record for number of twins in a grade.   (Scott Eisen)
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