a run for money
run for (one's) money
1. A prolonged period of success. The slot machine gave me a run for my money, but, in the end, the casino was the only real winner.
2. A challenge. Sure, Sheila still became valedictorian, but Tim really gave her a run for her money!
*a run for one's money
1. Fig. the results or rewards one deserves, expects, or wants. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) I get a run for my money at the club tennis tournament. I had a run for my money in the stock market.
2. Fig. a challenge. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Bob got a run for his money when he tried to beat Mary at pool. Bill got a run for his money playing cards with John.