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When you offer a bounty of, say, $50$ on some question to get it more focused, that many reputations get deducted from your acquired reputation. $50$ being the minimum reputation for offering bounty, how can a person offer a bounty whose reputation is less than $50$? I have seen many posts like that.

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The privilege to set bounties is granted at 75 reputation, so it is actually impossible for a user with less than 50 reputation to set a bounty. (Note, too, that if a user once had enough reputation for a privilege but somehow loses reputation to fall below the threshold, the privilege is revoked.)

But the reputation offered in a bounty is removed from the setter's account as soon as the bounty is set, not when it is awarded; from the privilege page linked above (some emphasis added):

What happens when I place a bounty?

  • ...

  • The reputation you're using for the bounty is immediately and irreversibly deducted from your reputation.

So, for example, if a user with 80 reputation sets a 50 reputation bounty on a question, those 50 reputation points are removed from their account at that time, and it looks as though a user with only 30 reputation has set the bounty.

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  • $\begingroup$ If this privilege starts at $75$ then how does a person offers $50$ reputation on a bounty and yet his reputation is $1$ as here: image. $\endgroup$ – Hirak Feb 21 '15 at 5:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Reasoner: It seems you are talking about this question. Note that the bounty was set by the OP who has well more than 75 reputation. I believe you probably came across that question in a list sorted by activity, and that 1 rep user was the last user to be active in that question (by posting an answer). $\endgroup$ – user642796 Feb 21 '15 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Reasoner I will add that even after the bounty ends, you can find out who offered the bounty from revision history of the post. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 21 '15 at 6:59

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