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Curtis quintuplets: Michigan's first family of fast food

The rarity of a couple having quintuplets always draws massive media attention. It's likely because the statistics are stacked against it happening.

The rarity of a couple having quintuplets always draws massive media attention. It’s likely because the statistics are stacked against it happening.

Fully identical quintuplets of the same sex are so rare that they occur in only 1 in 15 million pregnancies. The odds of conceiving quintuplets naturally is estimated to be much steeper – 1 in 60 million births.

What about a set of quintuplets who end up all working together at the same job at the same time.

What are the odds of that?

Well, it’s happening right now in Potterville, Michigan.

The date was February 20, 1998. Leith and Lori Curtis welcomed five new family members into the world.

“The kids were born three months premature,” said Leith. “There was a boy, then there was a girl, then another boy, and another girl – eventually I hoped they’d run out.”

They did run out, after another boy was born, adding five new mouths to feed to the Curtis family. Their names were Leith Jr., Lindsey, Logan, Lauren and Lucas.

“The babies were so small, I was able to take my wedding ring off and put it around their legs,” added Leith. “Our household became like a daycare that never left.”

The Curtis quintuplets were a big story at the time of their birth, as they became just the second set of quintuplets ever born on the state of Michigan.

Their entire lives, they’ve been together. Not only have they always lived in the same house, they also go to the same school, and since they’re all the same age, a few of them have always shared the same classes.

“We think similar and we don’t even know we’re doing it,” said Lucas. “It makes you wonder.”

The Curtis quintuplets are currently approaching the midway point of their senior year at Potterville High School. As you walk down the hallways in the school, when you see one Curtis quint, you’ll likely see another. Lucas and Lindsey have Personal Finance class together. After that Lindsey goes to choir class where she joins her brother Logan. At the Same time, Leith, Lucas and Lauren are in Physics at the same time.

“We’re our own best friends,” said Leith Jr.

One would think after always spending a majority of their time in the same place, they’d want to go their separate ways once in a while, but that isn’t the case.

“In October of 2015, I decided to apply for a job at the McDonald’s in Potterville,” said Lucas. “My sister Lauren went with me and a few weeks later, she applied, too.”

Lucas started out doing “table” which is building all the sandwiches and burgers, wrapping them, then sliding them down a counter where his other siblings place them in their respective bags, or on trays.

Lauren works mostly “service”, with her primary job being the drive through window.

“Either I will be taking orders, or going over to the screen to look at orders that someone else took,” said Lauren. “I get the food Lucas prepared, match the food with the order, and give it to the customers.”

Five months later, in March 2016, Leith Jr. applied and was hired.

“I am one of the cooks,” said Leith Jr.

Two months after that, in May 2016, Logan and Lindsey applied and were hired, completing the rare set of quintuplets on the payroll. Logan has joined his brother Leith Jr. as a cook, while Lindsey does all the janitorial duties that keep the cafeteria crystal clean.

“When I hired Lucas, he mentioned that he had a sister who was also going to be interviewing for a job, and that he has two more brothers and another sister” said Renee Draves, owner of the Potterville McDonald’s. “I immediately thought, wow, that’s something that someone would adopt five children that would all be the same age.

“Lucas then revealed to me that they’re quintuplets, and I decided I wanted to hire them all.”

The Curtis quintuplets often bring their McDonald’s uniforms to school, and when classes are done for the day, they transition out of their regular clothes into their work clothes. There’s only one vehicle, so all five of them sardine themselves into a sedan and make the short drive together from Potterville High School to work.

“There are days when all of us work together, and there are days that only a couple of us work,” said Lucas. “When we’re all here, sometimes customers come in, having heard our story, and try to figure out which one of us is who.”

The Curtis quintuplets won’t work at the Potterville McDonald’s forever. They say the plan for now is for each of them to continue working there until after they graduate next spring.

How should this rare moment, of having a set of quintuplets all working together, be remembered in Potterville?

One suggestion was to consider renaming the Potterville restaurant McCurtis’ instead of McDonald’s.

“If they want to pay for my franchising fee, I’ll let them do it,” Draves joked.

“They ought to rename a meal after them,” said Leith Sr. “Call it the McCurtis.”

“The McCurtis would be a 5-piece nugget, and the reason why it would be a 5-piece nugget is I would want them to be able to be together, said Draves. “I would market the box that way, so it would say “McCurtis” on it.

“Maybe they could make it the #5 Extra Value Meal option in honor of the kids,” said Leith Sr.

The Curtis quintuplets are still deciding what directions they plan to go after they graduate. Lauren, Lindsey and Logan are considering attending Lansing Community College. Lucas recently got accepted at Kendall School of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, while Leith Jr. says he’s completely undecided.

Regardless of the directions they go, they will always be together, no matter what.

“We’re always going to be brothers and sisters,” said Logan.

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