Created by John Ostrander, Chance is loosely based upon another Ostrander character named GrimJack.
Green Lantern of Garnet
Jack T. Chance is from the planet Garnet, also known as 'Hellhole' because it is one of the worst criminal worlds in existence. Repeatedly the Guardians of the Universe dispatched Green Lanterns to this planet in hope of redeeming the world, but each attempt ended in failure, usually fatally for the Green Lantern. The last Guardian-sent agent, Pathavim Seth-Ottarak, used his dying breath to instruct his ring to find a replacement among Hellhole's inhabitants uniquely suited to the challenges of the world (in other words, one not limited by the Green Lanterns' usual moral strictures). The ring chose Jack T. Chance. When the ring bonded with him it created a standard Green Lantern uniform and explained his duties to him. Chance rejected the idea of a uniform, refusing to wear anything other than his own trashy clothes with a single small added badge.
Chance hunted down the man who killed his predecessor, intending to kill him in turn, only to find the ring had a failsafe against lethal force. Further, the ring offered no protection against his opponent's yellow bullets. Thus Chance fell back on traditional methods and used a crude firearm to shoot the man dead. This became Jack's standard methodology as he went about pacifying Garnet, wearing down his targets with the powers of the ring then delivering a killing blow with a sidearm.
Sometime later, while doing his duties on Garnet, he had the displeasure of encountering Lobo, and true to form the two got into a fight. Chance had the upper hand because of his ring and was enjoying the one-sided fight. The fight took a turn for the worse when Lobo realized that the ring had a weakness to yellow. Lobo covered himself in the yellow blood of a downed citizen, and defeated Chance. Knowing that he would be in a bad way when Lobo was finished with him, he ordered his ring not to forget anything important when the ring would put him back together. After winning the fight, Lobo had the idea of taking Chance's power ring before he left 'Hellhole', however, the ring could not be removed from its wielder's finger. Consequently, Lobo took the whole finger. As Lobo walked off, the ring informed him that, due to the specific deal the Guardians had made with Chance, it would not work beyond the parameters of Garnet's atmosphere. Disappointed, Lobo tossed the finger and ring, and left the planet. The ring and finger then made their way back to Chance and reattached themselves.
When Hal Jordan went rogue and headed for Oa, the guardians were desperate and called Chance, as their most 'ruthless' agent, to stop the rampaging Jordan. To this end they granted his ring the same abilities as other members of the Corps, and its power was no longer limited to Garnet's atmosphere. While he did manage to surprise Jordan, his skill proved insufficient against his enemy's superior ability. Jordan took the rings from Chance and the other Green Lanterns, and left them for dead.
Return and death
However, Chance did not die, and instead was captured along with fellow Lost Lanterns, to be used by the Manhunters as energy for their newly upgraded software. He was freed by Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner and received a hero's welcome upon his return to Oa. Even though he and his fellow Lost Lanterns were aware that Hal Jordan's murderous actions were the result of the influence from the fear-inducing parasitic energy entity known as Parallax, they still bore grudges and remained unwilling to trust him again. Chance's return made the Guardians rethink his status as a probationary member, and he was finally accepted in the ranks of the Green Lantern Corps.
As part of the Blackest Night event, all of the fallen Green Lanterns in the Oan crypt are reanimated by black power rings in Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #39 (October 2009). Chance is among the many Black Lanterns shown standing against the Green Lanterns on Oa.
You who are wicked, evil and mean
I'm the nastiest creep you've ever seen!
Come one, come all, put up a fight
I'll pound your butts with Green Lantern's light!