ghost of a chance

Chinaman's chance

Little or no chance at all; a completely hopeless prospect. This derogatory phrase originated in the 1800s and referred to Chinese immigrants who worked for extremely low wages, faced racism and higher taxation, and were prohibited from testifying in court for violence committed against them. Primarily heard in US, South Africa.
See also: chance

ghost of a chance

A slight but unlikely possibility. After I heard that a Harvard graduate applied for the same job I did, I knew that I didn't have a ghost of a chance of getting hired. Even though he knows he only has a ghost of a chance of winning the lottery, he still buys tickets every week.
See also: chance, ghost, of

ghost of a chance

even the slightest chance. (Usually negative.) She can't do it. She doesn't have a ghost of a chance. There is just a ghost of a chance that I'll be there on time.
See also: chance, ghost, of
References in classic literature ?
George's Hill was brought down, did they give the artillery the ghost of a chance against them.
There was, to be sure, hardly a ghost of a chance for either of them, in a serious sense; but there was, or had been, a chance of one or the other inspiring him with a passing fancy for her, and enjoying the pleasure of his attentions while he stayed here.
A few reached the barred gates, only to be shot in their tracks, without the ghost of a chance to gain the inside of the palisade, and then the whole attack crumpled, and the remaining warriors scampered back into the forest.
He hasn't the ghost of a chance, but, of course, he won't give it up.
There was absolutely not the ghost of a chance of another ball being bowled.
Williams hadn't the ghost of a chance with Tom at wrestling; and the conviction broke at once on the Slogger faction that if this were allowed their man must be licked.
LASSITER, Rhiannon Ghost of a Chance OUP, 2011 362pp A$13.