Definition of punch one's ticket in US English:

punch one's ticket

phrase

US
informal
  • 1Deliberately undertake particular assignments that are likely to lead to promotion at work.

    • ‘That's not to say some big names weren't still looking to punch their ticket to 2004-05.’
    • ‘Reba's Gold punched his ticket to Japan with a win in the Steinlen Handicap on November 10.’
    • ‘Johannesburg kept his record perfect and punched his ticket for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile later this month.’
    • ‘Last Sunday, the Terrapins punched their ticket to an eleventh straight NCAA tournament with an uninspiring, painful to watch victory over a mediocre University of Virginia team.’
    • ‘War Chant punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby when he won the San Rafael Stakes and was second in the Santa Anita Derby.’
    • ‘He punched his ticket to the classics with a 3 3/4-length win in the Arkansas Derby but was eased three weeks later in the Kentucky Derby.’
    • ‘The Cardinals have a manager who has punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame; the Astros have one who finally has proved what he can do when he has enough good players.’
    • ‘After a mediocre regular season saw them finish at 12-8, the Golden Bears ripped off an impressive post-season run to punch their ticket for the big dance with the Canada West championship.’
    • ‘He had punched his ticket as a climbing Sherpa, but the next challenge was to make his mark on Everest.’
    • ‘The Bucs still have tough games against New England and Atlanta before they can punch their ticket to the play-offs.’
    1. 1.1 (in sports) ensure one's progress to a further contest or tournament.
      ‘in scoring 13 points, they punched their ticket to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville’
      • ‘At 39, he probably has punched his ticket to Cooperstown with a résumé that includes 2,639 hits, 564 doubles and 1,603 runs.’
      • ‘Last Sunday, the Terrapins punched their ticket to an eleventh straight NCAA tournament with an uninspiring, painful to watch victory over a mediocre University of Virginia team.’
      • ‘The Bucs still have tough games against New England and Atlanta before they can punch their ticket to the playoffs.’
      • ‘That's not to say some big names weren't still looking to punch their ticket to 2004-05.’
      • ‘I find it to be a filthy and disgusting act, and ultimately a way for people to punch their ticket for an eternity in hell.’
      • ‘Folklore did not waffle in her response, delivering a 14-length knockout of six other rivals to punch her ticket to the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday.’
      • ‘If the season hasn't already punched his ticket to Cooperstown, N.Y., then a third MVP Award certainly would guarantee his place in the Hall of Fame.’
      • ‘Well, the Democrats finally punched their ticket and surprise, surprise, it's the Johns: Kerry and Edwards.’
      • ‘Last year the Saints had to sneak into the B.C.s via the back-door but would rather punch their ticket more easily this time out.’
      • ‘These are the kinds of things that would punch my ticket to either the Puget Sound or Silicon Valley.’