This happened to me once. I had a question and started a bounty over its topic but the "new" answer which came for the bounty was "to my standards" not worthy of that particular bounty. Stackexchange does forces me to award the bounty before the time limit. So does this means I should award the bounty even if I don't feel my answer was fully resolved in the end? or to award it to anyone who just happens to write whatever they please if nobody else has shown up?. Or could it be that I understood its policy wrong?.

Can somebody help me to clear these doubts?


1 Answer 1


There is no obligation to award the bounty, yet no matter what you do you will not get back your points (from the help center, linked in a comment).

If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount (or the full amount, if the answer is also accepted). If two or more eligible answers have the same score (their scores are tied), the oldest answer is chosen. If there's no answer meeting those criteria, no bounty is awarded to anyone.

Thus, depending on the precise situation, there will be no reward for an answer (if others did not find it good either) or only a reduced one (if others did find it good).

Since you do not get back the points anyway, it makes sense to be generous in awarding a bounty. Of course within limits. One should not reward users that try to grab bounties either. But if it's a somewhat useful good-faith effort there is no reason not to award the bounty (even if you do not accept the answer).

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    $\begingroup$ So If I start a bounty I'm going to lose my reputation points anyways. Is this correct?. Or Am I understanding it wrong?. Other than starting a bounty are there other ways to gather attention to some question? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ The reputation is lost right when you start the bounty and cannot be recovered (this is again given in the help center that I linked). There are other ways to get more attention, as suggested here, but it seems none of them is more effective than setting up a bounty. @ChrisSteinbeckBell $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ You could always hire a skywriter. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ You pay the bounty for extra exposure of the question, not for an answer. Just as you pay for a newspaper ad, even if no one comes to your store as a result. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnMa Thank's for that link!. It was really very detailed although it was a question. It looks that another way is to edit the question, but I wonder does it has to be adding some paragraphs or minor changes or it has to be a major revision?. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GEdgar It looks that in the end reputation points aren't refundable by any means. Although it is mentioned in the article about how bounties work I thought it made sense that if somebody did not award the bounty those points wouldn't be lost but it looked as work as you said the newspaper ad analogy. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 19:29

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