an eye on/for/to the main chance

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an eye on/for/to the main chance

The continuous seeking of opportunities to advance oneself or make money. The term often refers to someone who is ambitious without consideration of others. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. You just have an eye on the main chance—you don't care if I succeed or fail.
See also: chance, eye, main, on

an eye for the main chance


an eye on the main chance

If someone has an eye for the main chance or an eye on the main chance, they are always looking for an easy opportunity to make money or to improve their situation. Are these the words of a genuine football reformer, or an opportunist with an eye for the main chance? You make your own money and luck by being out in the world with your eye on the main chance. Note: You can also say that someone looks for the main chance or takes the main chance. He was just an idle boaster looking for the main chance.
See also: chance, eye, main
References in classic literature ?
Where attempts have not been made to reconcile the two moralities, they may be described as follows:--All is GOOD in the noble morality which proceeds from strength, power, health, well-constitutedness, happiness, and awfulness; for, the motive force behind the people practising it is "the struggle for power." The antithesis "good and bad" to this first class means the same as "noble" and "despicable." "Bad" in the master-morality must be applied to the coward, to all acts that spring from weakness, to the man with "an eye to the main chance," who would forsake everything in order to live.
To be sure, he became a Friend by Convincement as the Quakers say, and so I cannot imagine that he was altogether worldly; but he had an eye to the main chance: he founded the industry of making flannels in the little Welsh town where he lived, and he seems to have grown richer, for his day and place, than any of us have since grown for ours.
A couple of po-faced bints with an eye to the main chance of suing an investment bank for pounds 3 million because a male client used the word "honkers" to describe breasts.
I know full well that finding secret codes is a favourite pastime for obsessives, conspiracy-theorists, charlatans with an eye to the main chance ...
I would, however, fully agree that they most certainly had an eye to the main chance.
Scottie (John Williams) returned to pole position in the Menai One Designs while David Pilling in Hawkeye kept an eye to the main chance in the Falcons to take the winning gun.
During the summer, even a simple break for an ice cream can cost a lot of lolly if criminals with an eye to the main chance spot that car windows and doors are not properly secured.
But all over the Midlands people with an eye to the main chance have been snapping up Furbies.
There are some real weirdos out there, not to mention plenty of folk with an eye to the main chance, seeking to separate the gullible from their money.
Professor Vincent would doubtless take this view, dismissing as he does "naive Anglo-Saxon moralism that assumed politicians had 'principles' of which their careers were the outward embodiment," and reminding us that "party leaders who act without an eye to the main chance do not last long" (113).
Peter Hain, that perma-tanned Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a cabinet climber with so much an eye to the main chance that he seriously believes he's a candidate for Labour's deputy prime minister, behaved disgracefully this week by whipping up discontent at these proposals.
Rather it has added force to the cynic's view, that it is the action of a politician with more than an eye to the main chance.
Rodney's peasants were altogether more feisty: often badly behaved, with an eye to the main chance, but also loyal to one another (mostly), and doggedly opposed to external oppressors.