KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 15, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
A Mayde Creek High School graduate gets answers right on television game shows and credits most of his success to his family and Katy roots. Who is Kyle Kahan?
Kyle Kahan and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host, Chris Harrison. Photo credit: Kyle Kahan.
Three Game Shows and Counting
Kyle Kahan, a 2007 Mayde Creek High School graduate, has now appeared on three games shows including his dream show, Jeopardy! He credits the start to his trivia passions to his Katy roots and his father, Houston Crime Stoppers Director, Andy Kahan.
From Family Quizzes to Mayde Creek, A&M Quizbowls
Kyle's parents, Andy and Christine Kahan, moved to Katy in 1989 when he was four months old. Kyle Kahan still remembers being quizzed on state capitals sitting at the old Cattleguard, off of Highway 6 in Katy.
“I can really thank my Dad for this,” says Kyle. “He was always quizzing me on things.”
While at Mayde Creek High School, Kyle was active in band and the academic decathlon. He also joined the Quizbowl team his sophomore year.
“We were very competitive,” recalls Kyle.
Those passions continued at college where he joined the Texas A&M Quizbowl team. From there he tested for Jeopardy! four times before he finally got that call.
“I was in the computer lab at Texas A&M when I got the call,” says Kyle. “I called my Dad and he didn’t answer. I then called him 9 times and left a message. That got his attention and he called and we celebrated.”
Kyle Kahan and Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy!. Photo credit: Kyle Kahan.
'It Was a Dream'
Kyle was on the Jeopardy! College Championship 2010 and made it to the semifinals where he met the man he grew up watching for so many years - Alex Trebek.
“It was a dream,” says Kyle. “Getting to talk to him and have him say my name after each question. You’re in a dream.”
After Jeopardy!, Kyle attended Stanford Law School, but his affinity for game shows didn’t stop. While getting on one game show is an amazing accomplishment, Kyle still sought more challenges.
In 2014, Kyle appeared on USA’s The Chase. He was featured on one of the program's most exciting episodes, but lost.
In 2017, he landed in the hot seat on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
“I won $5,000 after missing a $20,000 question,” says Kyle.
His earnings from that popular game show paid for his honeymoon with his wife, Maddie.
“I don’t think she fully understood my passion for trivia until it was too late,” says Kyle.
Kyle Kahan on The Chase. Photo credit: Kyle Kahan.
Game Show Passion Rubs Off
“Maddie was at the taping for my Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? show and was tested as part of the audience,” says Kyle. “She passed and then nailed the personality interview.”
Maddie Kahan was on the show just a few weeks after Kyle and won $10,000.
Find Something that You Love
“I suggest finding something that you love and branch out and discover topics from there,” says Kyle. “So much that I have learned has stuck with me today. Anything can come up.”
“There are so many resources out there like J-Archive from Jeopardy!,” says Kyle.
“My time in band greatly helped me in understanding music categories,” says Kyle. “Just as any sport or fine arts can help someone today.”
Credit to Family
Kyle and Maddie currently live in San Francisco, CA. They were married in May of 2018. Kyle is an Assistant DA with plans of being a judge. He was inspired by his father to work to defend the innocent.
“I do what I do because of him,” says Kyle.
"He has superseded me in ways I could never dream of," says Andy Kahan.
Many Katy Families Enjoy Trivia During Pandemic
As families have remained home during the pandemic, they've found new outlets for fun. Many have joined virtual trivia groups, downloaded brain teaser apps, or watch game shows on TV.
"We started weekly trivia through St. Peter's UMC at the start of quarantine and are continuing it," says Stephen Clark. "It's been a wonderful, free activity to do from home that we've all enjoyed."
Kyle and Maddie still participate in a trivia league and a pub trivia night.
Kyle’s days in the game show world may not be done. Stay tuned as his story continues to develop as he represents Katy.