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This SO question has an open bounty of 400, but the questioner only has rep of 16. How is this possible? Perhaps, if the system allows you to offer two bounties of e.g. 400 when you have rep 416, and one answer is accepted, that would reduce your rep to 16, leaving the situation as described. How does SO prevent this kind of "bounty on credit"?

If an answer is accepted, how will the bounty be paid?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Bounties get paid when they are started, not when they are awarded.

So the questioner had more than 400 350 rep (there is a 50 rep bonus added by the system as pointed out by @Workshop Alex) before he started the bounty.

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Are you saying that the 400 is sort of "in escrow"? That the questioner had over 400 rep, offered the bounty of 400, and their rep got docked by that amount? If so, that makes sense. –  Vinay Sajip Sep 26 '09 at 18:39
    
@Vinay: Yes indeed, that's what I'm saying. –  fretje Sep 26 '09 at 18:40
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Wrong! He had less than 400! :-) SO adds another 50 to every bounty. (Still, +1) –  Wim ten Brink Sep 26 '09 at 21:01
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@Workshop Alex: I've updated my answer ;-) - thanks! –  fretje Sep 26 '09 at 21:24

He had 366 first, added a bounty of 350, SO added another 50 bonus and now has only 16 left. See his history...

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+1 for detailed information and the link –  fretje Sep 26 '09 at 21:25
    
Especially the link is useful, since it allows you to see how someone gained or lost his reputation. :-) It also shows how important reputation can be when you want to add a bonus for a Q. If you don't have much, adding a bonus could mean that you have to give up all for an answer. –  Wim ten Brink Sep 27 '09 at 9:26

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