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I started a bounty for a certain answer to:

Estimate a logistic function from an estimated exponential function

I had to wait one week to tell who was going to get the bounty and the bounty just vanished when I missed the narrow 24 h window.

There was just one answer to my question and the answer was accepted.

Couldn't one get an email when it is possible to award the answer?

If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer posted during the bounty period, and the bounty expires without an explicit award then we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.

In my opinion the bold part is awkward. It should be enough with an accepted answer.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you have to wait a week to award the bounty. My recollection is that you have to wait one day, or maybe two. $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ At math.stackexchange.com/help/bounty it says "The bounty period lasts 7 days. Bounties must have a minimum duration of at least 1 day. After the bounty ends, there is a grace period of 24 hours to manually award the bounty. Simply click the bounty award icon next to each answer to permanently award your bounty to the answerer." I take this to mean that (as @Eric noted) you only have to wait one day to award a bounty. Also, if there was just one answer, then that answer should have been awarded half the bounty automatically when you missed the deadline. $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson - Thanks! But I don't think that the half bounty was awarded. $\endgroup$
    – Lehs
    Oct 2 at 5:06
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I should have read a little farther. "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." $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson - Thanks again! That's an awkward rule for a bounty to award an existing answer... $\endgroup$
    – Lehs
    Oct 2 at 5:21
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    $\begingroup$ I guess the theory is that if a user is sufficiently interested in a question to offer a bounty, then that user is also sufficiently interested in the question to check up on it daily. But I know that things come up. $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ Lehs and @GerryMyerson that bounty wasn't awarded automatically to the answerer because the answerer had written a answer which had score<2. Don't forget to award the bounty this time Lehs $\endgroup$
    – user876009
    Oct 2 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JitendraSingh - I'm warned and will be alert. And I will try to edit my answer with focus on "existing answer"... :) $\endgroup$
    – Lehs
    Oct 2 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ In fact, there are several notification about bounties delivered to the Stack Exchange inbox. In particular, there is a notification saying: "Your bounty on ... is completed. You must award it to an answer within 24 hours." You can see the screenshot here: Improve bounty notification "You must award it to an answer within 24 hours." when there are no answers. And you also get the notifications saying "your bounty expires in three days", "your bounty expires in one day", $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ At the same time I should say that I believe these notifications are not sent in some cases - maybe if there are no answers. Or maybe if there are no answers posted after offering the bounty. (I am not sure about the exact rules.) See this comment on Meta Stack Exchange. You might find some other related posts on Meta Stack Exchange if you look at some questions tagged (bounties) and (notifications). $\endgroup$ Oct 2 at 8:25
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To award existing answer

A bounty can be started on a question two days after the question was asked.

To start a bounty, click on the "start a bounty" link at the bottom of an eligible question and allocate anywhere between 50 and 500 reputation, in 50-point increments.

You can choose from a list of bounty reasons. 

The bounty period lasts 7 days.

Bounties must have a minimum duration of at least 1 day.

After the bounty ends, there is a grace period of 24 hours to manually award the bounty.

Simply click the bounty award icon next to each answer to permanently award your bounty to the answerer.

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.

If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer posted during the bounty period

and

the bounty expires without an explicit award then we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.

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