I was drawn to the phrase, “ring the cherries” in the following passage in Thomas Harris’ “The Silence of Lambs” in a part officer, Jerry Burroughs telling the profile of a suspect killer to FBI agent, Clarice Starling:
“Subject name, James Gumb. Jack got a beep from Johns Hopkins. Your thing - your profile on how he’d be different from a transsexual – it rang the cherries at John Hopkins. The guy applied for sex reassignment three years ago. Roughed up a doctor after they turned him down. - ibid. Page 322.
I assume the phrase “rang the cherries” mean that the profile of the suspect described by Clarice Sterling coincided with / matches the patient record of John Hopkins from the context. But I can’t find the phrase under the headings of ‘cherry’ and ‘ring’ in either Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th ed.) or Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (4th ver.) at hand.
What does “ring the cherries” mean? What is the origin of this phrase? Is it a common English phrase, though Google Ngram doesn’t carry this phrase either?