If someone asks a very specific question, or one which requires a bit of setup to test, and offers a bounty - but does not mark any answer as the solution, and no one that views it bothers (reasonably) to test/verify the solution (only viewed 121 times)), is that an abuse of offering the bounty to entice a solution, while gambling that no one will upvote it?

More specifically, if the comments finally receive a response from the OP answering key information, and a complete coded/commented answer is posted, and the OP states:

Yes if you post the code and I can verify it works i'll add another 50.

but is never to be heard from again (but has been on SO frequently), am I just a sucker that solved this person's work-related issue and won't even get 15 reputation for having done so?

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This is a problem, but it's impossible to determine in all (or even most) cases why someone didn't award a bounty. Can't do anything about it, just like you can't do anything about downvotes that aren't part of a mass downvoting spree; the user can just claim they had a valid reason. –  Matthew Read Aug 18 '11 at 19:30
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Note that the OP always gives up the bounty rep, even if no answer receives it. Reduces the likelihood of abuse, but doesn't prevent the offerer from acting like a jerk. –  Michael Petrotta Aug 18 '11 at 19:31
    
@Tom: if true, that contradicts the FAQ: "In any case, you will always give up the amount of reputation specified in the bounty..." [emphasis in original] –  Michael Petrotta Aug 18 '11 at 19:36
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@Tom At least now, if you award yourself the bounty you don't actually get any of the points. It's just a mostly empty gesture, saying "nobody came up with anything better than I did". Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/102515/… –  Matthew Read Aug 18 '11 at 19:42
    
@Matthew: Okay, that exception seems to have been corrected. Cleaned some noise here... :) –  Tom Wijsman Aug 18 '11 at 19:46
    
@CrackerJack9: For all your trouble, you get to give him a solid, single downvote on that one question. And even then that might not be in the spirit of the site. –  MPelletier Aug 18 '11 at 20:22
    
Welcome to the Internet. Good guys, beware. –  squillman Aug 18 '11 at 20:36
    
@squillman I was leary of that, maybe had too high hopes for people taking the 5 seconds to upvote or mark something as the answer to questions they are probably getting paid to know the answer to...hit and runs aside, despairingly frequent from high rep users as well. –  CrackerJack9 Aug 18 '11 at 20:41
    
@Cody that's not very nice and the OP asked in good faith here –  Jeff Atwood Aug 19 '11 at 5:34
    
@Jeff Upon reflection, perhaps not. I'm honestly confused about what the question is and/or what types of answers he's looking for. –  Cody Gray Aug 19 '11 at 5:36
    
@ Cody Gray Please see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_mark for more information you require. –  CrackerJack9 Aug 27 '11 at 18:22
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