A question of mine is close to the end of the bounty. I got an answer which doesn't really suit me (see my comments to the answer), but I think about rewarding the bounty for it, because otherwise the rep. was just wasted and by that I might make someone happy (whatever that means).

But maybe the answerer doesn't want the bounty. Can he deny it?

PS: There's still time to come up with another answer or upvote the current one (when it has two upvotes, he'll get half the bounty anyway, and then I would leave like that).

I hope nobody minds the self-promotion.


  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any reason to think that the answerer doesn't want the bounty? $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2013 at 22:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ No, I can't read his thoughts, sorry. $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Jan 1, 2013 at 22:14
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ But you can ask him... Anyway, if I were in your position I would wait until the last 12 hours or so (to make absolutely sure that nobody else is coming up with an answer), and then give full bounty to the answer without accepting it (which I guess is possible, although I'm not sure). There's no point in forfeiting half of the bounty. Who knows, maybe after receiving +200 the answerer will feel that he owes you :-) and this will motivate him to keep thinking?... $\endgroup$
    – user53153
    Jan 1, 2013 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, as Pavel M guesses, the bounty can be awarded without accepting the answer. @draks: So it is idle curiosity? $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2013 at 22:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Better yet, you can negotiate an agreement with the answerer so that after receiving the bounty he will use (some of) the received points to set another bounty on the same question, thus doubling its featured life for the same price... I don't find this morally objectionable, because the 1 week period is laughably short for hard math problems. This time limit is adapted to the needs of StackOverflow, where the number of featured questions is in the hundreds at any given time. $\endgroup$
    – user53153
    Jan 1, 2013 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ I am the answerer, and I am not point hungry. I haven't seen Drak's new comments, but I agree the question was not answered as intended. I like the question, and would enjoy working on it more; if I think of anything, I'll send it to you. Why not answer it yourself and accept the bounty, with a link to this meta thread? $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2013 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Brian: Bounty-offerers can award the bounty to themselves, but if they do they don't get back the points. $\endgroup$
    – MJD
    Jan 2, 2013 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ I've deleted my post for the night; I'll open it up again tomorrow. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2013 at 2:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Brian I have no idea what good is going to come out of the temporary deletion. You could take the points and immediately return them by setting another bounty there. $\endgroup$
    – user53153
    Jan 2, 2013 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ ... as I just did here $\endgroup$
    – user53153
    Jan 2, 2013 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ There already was a case where the answerer did not want the bounty: Is it possible to remove the bounty on this question? $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2013 at 12:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @brian please put your answer back. You can put a bounty there yourself maybe we will get some more answers. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Jan 2, 2013 at 12:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree; I'll put the bounty right back in. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2013 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin I think that linked case was different, but I think Brian and me found a good solution. Thanks... $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Jan 2, 2013 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


A user cannot decline a bounty, except by deleting the answer (which is counterproductive), or by convincing a moderator to refund the bounty (which is unlikely to happen). Even CW answers receive bounty. My suggestion, also expressed to the comments, was to refund any unwanted bounty by placing it back on the same question. This action extends the lifetime of bounty by another week, which is an improvement on the built-in one-week limit. The one-week period may be appropriate for programming questions on StackOverflow, but is too short for difficult math problems.

Caveat: minimum bounty on a question you have answered is 100.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks ... done! $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Jan 3, 2013 at 7:07

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