VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Talk about a lucky charm! Twin brothers, Shane and Noah Shunkwiler, were on a mission to find a four-leaf clover in their Virginia Beach yard when the 8-year-olds found a seven-leaf clover.
According to an internet search, the odds of this could be one in 250 million. WTKR spoke with a plant expert at the Norfolk Botanical Garden who also agreed their discovery is extremely rare.
"That’s pretty spectacular. Research says that’s probably a one in a two million-plus odds,” said Michelle Baudanza, Curator at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
The boys’ father, Bruce Shunkwiler, said they went to a nearby park and looked for about an hour, but had no luck there. However, once they got home, the boys went into their back yard and continued the search. That’s where Noah found the one with seven leaves.
“When he wants to do something, he’s very determined,” said Bruce.
As WTKR was interviewing the twins on Tuesday afternoon, the boys were sitting in their yard, brushing their hands through the clovers, and Noah stopped and exclaimed, “Wait a minute! I just found a one, two, three, four, five, six, I just found a six-leaf clover!”
It was in the same patch where they found the seven-leaf one.
Baudanza says there could be multiple reasons why some clovers have more than three leaves.
“One theory is it could be a recessive gene or perhaps a mutation in the flower or in the leaf that would cause the multiple leaves to form. Another theory is that it might be caused by the environment. The reason why some researchers think that’s a likely possibility is because anywhere you find a four-leaf clover or above, you’re much more likely to find others.”
Bruce joked that maybe it’s because their yard is left in its natural state.
“This is the most primitive yard in Hampton Roads. There are no fertilizers. It barely sees a lawn mower, so maybe that’s why.”
The plant expert encourages residents to see the value in clovers, as she says they are good for the soil.
“I would encourage people to maybe take a different perspective on having it in your lawn. It’s quite valuable and it’s really great. It helps the bee population and obviously as we all know, they need as much help as they can get.”
The Shunkwilers say they plan to preserve the shamrocks and hang onto them as keepsakes.
This story was originally published by Angela Bohon at WTKR.