pay dirt

soil, gravel, or ore that can be mined profitably.
Informal. any source of success or wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture: After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.
Football. end zone ( def 1 ).

1855–60, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pay dirt
1.  a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
2.  informal strike pay dirt, hit pay dirt to achieve one's objective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
They want to find artifacts that tell stories about what happened on that land
  a long time ago, and they're striking pay dirt.
He has been studying many possible growth factors and has struck pay dirt with
  two of them.
Only two days into the expedition, the team hits pay dirt.
After all, the main pay dirt won't be found by studying small populations but
  by understanding the larger groups around the globe.
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