the game's not worth the candle

the game's not worth the candle (the returns from an activity or enterprise do not warrant the time, money or effort required) — овчинка выделки не стоит; игра не стоит свеч

Example: The office he is running for is so unimportant that the game's not worth the candle. (

Is the game worth the candle? (said when you are not certain whether it is really worth making a great effort to get something) — Игра стоит свеч? Эта затея стоит таких усилий?

see also
[овчинка выделки не стоит]
This expression, which began as a translation of a term used by the French essayist Michel de Montaigne in 1580, alludes to gambling by candlelight, which involved the expense of illumination. If the winnings were not sufficient, they did not warrant the expense. Used figuratively, it was a proverb within a century. (