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I answered the question with a bounty here, the OP accepted the answer and yet the bounty is not awarded.

This is about the third time I have experienced funnies with the bounty system.

I would have thought that while the bounty may not have been explicitly awarded by the OP, accepting the answer should automatically mean the bounty should be awarded ... perhaps after the period ends in case a better answer is put forward by someone else.



OK. After the comments below, I believe the following would be an improvement although there are potential issues.

When a bounty is put, say, 50 Points, 150% of this, 75 Points, should be deducted from the person that put it up. When the bounty is awarded, 50 Points should go to the awardee and 25 Points back to the person that put up the bounty. IOW, the person should be motivated to be bothered to actually award the bounty.

As things stand, it makes no difference whether it is actually awarded or not to the person that puts it up.

If there isn't a satisfactory answer, then 75 Points are simply deducted.

In addition, a bounty should be considered awarded if the OP accepts an answer when they have put up the bounty themselves.

Any thoughts?


As Jeff Atwood has pointed out, the current system already automatically awards the bounty at the end of the process if an answer is accepted by the OP. Apologies for not reading up on the rules before raising the issue. Nonetheless, raising it did bring up some very interesting view points.

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of How does the bounty system work? - the exact rules governing bounty attribution are described there. – Mat Dec 29 '11 at 16:38
@Matt. I do know how it works and the point being raised for discussion is that the way it works is flawed in this aspect. Any thoughts on that? – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 16:42
Adam Davis' post explains a variety of reasons why the way the system works is good. The way you phrased your third paragraph, I though you didn't know how the system was supposed to worked. – Mat Dec 29 '11 at 16:45
His answer does cover a lot of areas but it doesn't cover what happened in this case which is why I brought the issue up for discussion. My proposal is that accepting an answer should mean awarding the bounty ... at least in cases where the OP is the one that put up the bounty. Seems reasonable ... don't you think? – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 16:51
No, doesn't seem reasonable. The OP can do that now directly if he chooses to. Removing that option is a loss of functionality. If the OP doesn't want to award the bounty, and no answer satisfies the automatic 1/2 bounty award, then the bounty is lost. OP is alerted several times before his bounty expires. If he doesn't want to award it, that's his decision. – Mat Dec 29 '11 at 16:56
Fair enough. I still think the system is flawed as the OP does not have a specific motivation to award the bounty. I.E. the rep deducted is the same whether awarded or not. I believe a tweak in that aspect would be an improvement. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 17:01
The OP has no dis-incentive either, and the OP is prodded by the system to award the bounty (which is a form of incentive). – Mat Dec 29 '11 at 17:04
@Dayo The primary issue with your proposal is that it removes the OP's choice as to what happens to their bounty. Just because they lose it either way doesn't mean they should be forced to award it. It's annoying when they choose to do this, but it's their rep, and their choice. – Adam Davis Dec 29 '11 at 17:09
@Mat: The prodding is only useful when the OP visits the site. Many people only come here to ask questions and on accepting an answer, would go away until the next question comes up. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 17:17
"the person should be motivated to be bothered to actually award the bounty" So if I post a bounty, and the answers that come in are no good, I lose 25 additional points above the bounty? That seems like a penalty for something I have no control over. The system already takes care of this issue by awarding half the bounty to new posts with +2 votes. Your particular case is so rare there's no reason to create a special rule just to take care of it. – Adam Davis Dec 29 '11 at 17:17
@Dayo If you don't visit the site, you receive email notification that your bounty is sending soon. Either way, you are notified. – Adam Davis Dec 29 '11 at 17:18
@Adam Davis: I think some of that choice needs to be taken away so that people who respond to questions that have bounties attached, can have a bit more confidence that it will actually be awarded. As things stand, after being burnt three times now, I see it as essentially a waste of time specifically responding to such questions. My score with "Bounty Questions" is Three Answers, Zero Bounty! Anyway, just a thought. If everybody thinks things cannot be improved, then so be it. thanks for taking the time anyway. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 17:18
@Adam Davis: I did acknowledge that there are potential issues with the proposal. However rather than see it as an additional 25 Point penalty, The proposal is that you put up 75 Points out of which you can get 25 Points back if there is an answer that satisfies you. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 17:20
@Dayo "can have a bit more confidence that it will actually be awarded." The confidence is that if your answer attracts 2 upvotes, then it will be awarded, at least in half, by you or someone else if they received more upvotes. If your answer isn't worth 2 upvotes, then it's probably not worth the bounty either... – Adam Davis Dec 29 '11 at 17:24
@Adam Davis "If your answer isn't worth 2 upvotes, then it's probably not worth the bounty either". Well, I can show you at least one example where that is not correct and besides, once the OP accepts the answer, then it stands to reason that the answer is worth the bounty the OP put up regardless of whether there are any upvotes or not... – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 17:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Per this is already the way it works!

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

And per

Bounty Ended with Dayo's answer chosen by Community♦

So I don't see why this question was even asked on meta.

share|improve this answer
I obviously didn't read the FAQ closely before asking that's why! Cheers for the clarification. – Dayo Dec 30 '11 at 9:25

I would have thought that while the bounty may not have been explicitly awarded by the OP, accepting the answer should automatically mean the bounty should be awarded

Accepting the answer and awarding the bounty are two separate things and are not associated in any way.

There are a variety of reasons for this:

  • If you put a bounty on a question that you didn't post, you don't necessarily want your bounty to go to the accepted answer, since you have no control over which answer the OP accepts.
  • You might never accept an answer, but choose to award the bounty anyway.
  • You might want to award separate bounties to several different answers that weren't accepted.

Keep in mind that this case already has code coverage. If a user doesn't award the bounty, but a new answer has come in that has at least +2 votes, then half the bounty is auto-awarded to the highest voted new answer.

Your particular case slips through because it only had one upvote by the time the bounty ended.

The bounty system was specifically separated from the accept system for the reasons given above. There is no reason to assume that accepting the answer should lead to awarding the bounty - the OP may have accepted without awarding the bounty on purpose, and forcing them to award the bounty on an accepted answer is not the correct behavior of the system.

Bounties and accepted answers are separate.

share|improve this answer
Can you elaborate? You post a bounty for the answer (in particular, the solution) to a question, the question is answered and you accept that it is answered or better still, the solution is given and you accept that solution ... shouldn't that then mean the bounty should be awarded? Confused by your take that the two are not connected. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 16:32
@Dayo there is a separate link (right below the checkmark you click to accept an answer) that you need to click to award a bounty. – Ash Dec 29 '11 at 16:33
@Ashley Nunn. I know that it has to be explicitly awarded. I just find it funny that the answer/solution can be given and accepted as valid but the OP can decide not to award the bounty nevertheless. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 16:36
@Dayo If your answer was upvoted by 2 and posted after the bounty was placed, but before it ended, you would have been auto-awarded half the bounty if the OP didn't choose it explicitly. Your post only had one upvote though, so the bounty was "lost" and the OP didn't get the bounty points back, but you weren't awarded them. – Adam Davis Dec 29 '11 at 16:41
@Adam Davis. I understand what happened. What I was proposing was that accepting an answer should mean awarding the bounty ... at least in cases where the OP is the one that put up the bounty. I believe that in this case, the OP put up the bounty and with the question answered and accepted, would not visit until they have another issue. – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 16:45
Are you aware that accepting an answer during the bounty period is treated as a bounty award at the end of the bounty period? This is specified in the FAQ and has been implemented for at least 6 months – Jeff Atwood Dec 29 '11 at 20:42
@dayo see – Jeff Atwood Dec 29 '11 at 20:48
@Jeff Atwood Thanks for clarifying. I wasn't aware that this was already the case (I had noticed that I got the bounty). I wonder though what comeback those that argued against this, equally not knowing this was the case I suppose, might have since many were adamant that this is a bad thing and several have been motivated enough to vote me down for suggesting this. Strange – Dayo Dec 29 '11 at 21:11
@Dayo My downvoting and argument was against your proposal. – Andrew Barber Dec 30 '11 at 6:54
@Andrew Barber You explained that here "I disgaree with the very basis of your request. People who consciously choose not to award an offerred bounty probably agree. You seem to be assuming that because you can't imagine doing something, no one else should be allowed to do it." Luckily, some others had seen the sense in the proposal and had actually already implemented it. – Dayo Dec 30 '11 at 12:28

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