work the oracle

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work the oracle

To manipulate something for one's personal gain (often financially). Primarily heard in UK. In order to win that much money gambling, he must have worked the oracle.
See also: work
References in classic literature ?
In point of fact, I wanted to see whether the one below was open, and whether there was the slightest chance of working the oracle with my sheet for a rope.
Working the oracle was a form of cheating; the ancient world's equivalent of nobbling the jury.