Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I had/have the top scoring answer to a question which had a bounty that ran out yesterday, but I have yet to see the bounty points, here approximately 12 hours later. What happened to them?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ineligible for automatic bounty selection.

When a bounty is placed on a question, there are two cases where it will be awarded.

  1. You have been chosen by the person who asked the question, where you will reap the full bounty points.

  2. You have an answer that scored at least +2 and was created after the start of the bounty. If automatically selected, you will win only half of the score.

Answers posted before the start of the bounty run are not eligible for the automatic option.

share|improve this answer

This is documented in

Once initiated, the bounty period lasts 7 days. If you mark an accepted answer, your bounty is awarded to the answerer (do note that accepted bounty answers are permanent and cannot be changed). If you do not accept an answer in 7 days, here is what happens at the end of the bounty period:

  • The highest voted answer created after the bounty started with at least 2 upvotes will be automatically accepted. Half the bounty will be awarded to the owner of that answer.
  • If there is no answer meeting the above criteria, and you as the question owner have not opted to accept an answer, you forfeit your right to ever accept an answer to your question.

In any case, you will always give up the amount of reputation specified in the bounty, so if you start a bounty, be sure to follow up and accept the best answer!

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .