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I recently added a bounty to one of my old questions hoping to get a more complete solution, but it turns out that Micah asked an isomorphic question half a year before me with a good answer.

How should I handle the situation? Is it possible to have the questions merged? If not, should I manually award the bounty immediately, to allow the question to be closed? In any case I don't want to waste the bounty.

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  • $\begingroup$ I will remove the bounty, if you wish. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jan 23 '13 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @robjohn Please do so, and I will assign it to leonbloy on the other question. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jan 23 '13 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ The bounty has been refunded. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jan 23 '13 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't seem entirely fair to me, given that I provided a correct answer on the bounty question without knowing about the older version. If bounties can be migrated to entirely different questions, that reduces the motivation to answer bounty questions, doesn't it? (I realize this is kind of an odd situation.) $\endgroup$ – mjqxxxx Jan 23 '13 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @mjqxxxx, you're right that I'm at fault for not noticing that my question was a duplicate, and apologize for wasting your time on a question that had already been answered. I've upvoted and accepted your new answer, and if you feel strongly about it, am willing to award you a separate 100 point bounty. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jan 23 '13 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ No, no problem... I don't think you're at fault; your question is largely equivalent to the older question, but certainly not enough of a duplicate that you should have found it by searching. Like I said, I think this is an unusual situation... there's no motivation to offer a bounty and then move it in general. $\endgroup$ – mjqxxxx Jan 23 '13 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ Or you could split the bounty into two of 50 pts each... $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 23 '13 at 23:33
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Um.. I actually disagree with the refund in this case. The bounty was opened 2 days ago. The question has since received attention as can be seen by the additional answers. To remove the bounty is, in my opinion, not fair.

I would've suggested instead that the OP let the bounty stand on the question where it was originally posted, and additionally issue a separate bounty for the duplicate question is he/she so wishes.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am happy to do this but now I can't add a bounty to my question due to it being closed. Oy. @mjqxxxx do you have a favorite existing question? $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jan 24 '13 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @user7530 Note that I am not asking you to do anything; after all, it is just an opinion. What's done is done, and it is not really serious enough that "Danger! Danger! Action must be reverted!" /robot voice. I am merely commenting after the fact on my disagreement about what has already happened: there's a reason that bounties are not generally refundable, and I am generally reluctant to make exceptions. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jan 24 '13 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ No worries! I want to do right by all parties, and spending an extra 100 rep doesn't bother me at all. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jan 24 '13 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @user7530 With any luck, the existence of this meta thread will result (or already resulted) in more views of the question and more upvotes for the answers. So we can all forget about the spilled bounty. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Jan 24 '13 at 16:31
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Your question got three answers (or at least attempts at an answer), and it seems that merging the questions would result in a confusing mess of answers and half-answers. I suggest to flag the post and ask moderators to refund the bounty; they can do it if there is a good reason, and this looks like a good reason. You can then award the bounty to the existing answer to the older question.

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