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I had this question:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1191631/entity-framework-with-a-game-server

All 3 responses were rated at 1 when the bounty expired. Nothing got selected as the "best answer", and I can't even manually select an answer.

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This is called an "unresolved bounty", has already been reported ( meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1413/… ) and is "by design" for now. –  VonC Aug 7 '09 at 17:25
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We're looking at allowing multiple bounties to be set on questions - this would also include allowing questions that did not get an accepted answer to be "bounty-fied" again. –  Jarrod Dixon Aug 8 '09 at 0:23
    
Even worse if the only answer is at -1 because they didn't even fully read the question... –  Telos Nov 5 '13 at 0:34

3 Answers 3

Once the bounty period is over, if no answer achieves a high enough score (+2 minimum) and is not checked by the question asker as the accepted answer, then it will not be able to win the bounty and the bounty will be lost by the OP.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/483019/how-does-the-bounty-system-work-in-stackoverflow

Note: If there was a tie and the answers were at +2 then the first one would get the check.

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An associated problem I've seen is when the automatically accepted answer doesn't actually answer the question.

I had a question where the best "answer" provided some food for thought and some ideas, but none of it panned out. Now, I have no problem with the bounty being assigned to that person...but it should be possible to unmark the answer so it's no longer accepted...because it doesn't actually solve the issue.

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I agree with this. Award the bounty if absolutely necessary (although I don't think it should be auto-awarded, but that's another discussion), but don't mark an answer as best that in reality isn't. –  tnorthcutt Aug 28 '09 at 2:40

You didn't select an answer before the bounty expired, so you lost your chance. Also Since no answers had over two votes, no one was automatically awarded the best answer. This is not a bug.

Here is documentation on the expected behaviour of bounty questions.

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It may be by design, but it still stinks. –  beska Aug 7 '09 at 17:55
    
Oh, that's not the part I was saying stinks...people definitely shouldn't be rewarded for doing nothing...if no good answers are there, and nothing gets auto-selected, that's fine. But he should be able to pick out an accepted answer eventually if one shows up. –  beska Aug 7 '09 at 18:43
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(Maybe "stinks" was too strong. Replace with "seems non-ideal.") –  beska Aug 7 '09 at 18:44

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