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Today is a sad day because I missed a bounty worth 10% of my reputation :)

But that's not the biggest issue. The OP accepted a wrong answer and even admit that it's not the correct one in comments right below it:

This isn't the answer, but since it looks like you are new to SO I thought I'd award you the bounty. :)

Should a user be obligated to accept the answer that helped them?

Please find the question here: Is it possible to add a hosts file entry to make it look like my files are on another machine?

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That question looks like it should be moved to Super User. – hammar May 22 '13 at 22:03
It's a bit annoying for you, yes, but it's their bounty so they can award it to whomever they want, for whatever reason they choose really. If they have accidentally awarded it to the wrong person then they can alert a mod who can do something about it, but that doesn't look like the case here. – JonW May 22 '13 at 22:04
What about selecting the correct answer? – Wouter Huysentruit May 22 '13 at 22:05
Again, it's up to the OP to select whatever answer they choose as the correct one. The negative votes and comments on it are indications to people viewing that it's not an ideal answer. – JonW May 22 '13 at 22:06
Ok thank you, I'll rest in piece on this one – Wouter Huysentruit May 22 '13 at 22:09
Ban that user for a week. – Anthony Pegram May 22 '13 at 22:15
I agree that this is frustrating, although it is the OP's fault, not the answerer (so please don't downvote him/her). I've asked the OP to accept the most helpful answer, and hyperlinked to here so they have the right of reply. I agree the OP should not have done this, but I'm not sure if applying any rules would usually help, since we'd need the OP to always admit they are awarding wrongly :). – halfer May 22 '13 at 22:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The OP can start by accepting your answer instead of the wrong answer, while only meager 15 rep it's a good start and will make thing more clear for visitors.

Now, what's done is done: bounty can be cancelled by moderator while still active but no way to refund it once it's given.

However, the wrong answer can be deleted and the author will lose the 500 rep gained wrongly.

As for you, generous user with enough rep might give you the 500 you rightfully deserve. Don't count on it though, just keep bounty hunting. :)

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I will, thank you – Wouter Huysentruit May 22 '13 at 22:08

Asking to team up on downvoting is not acceptable. Please don't repeat that in the future!

It is up to the OP to give the bounty to whoever he/she wants. You have to move on and let it go.

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I understood, but randomly accepting answers breaks the idea behind SO – Wouter Huysentruit May 22 '13 at 22:06
@WouterHuysentruit Not really, the voting is the idea of SO, and that is still intact. It's the voting that shows what answer the SO community feel is the best one. – JonW May 22 '13 at 22:07
Accepting answers and giving your own bounty is up to yourself. By voting the community will raise up the correct answer (almost) to the top. – juergen d May 22 '13 at 22:08

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