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How does the bounty system work?

On one of my questions I see a "start a bounty" button. What does it mean and what is its purpose?

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marked as duplicate by Ladybug Killer, ChrisF, Grace Note, devinb, Gnoupi Jul 13 '10 at 15:08

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2 Answers

From the SO FAQ

If, despite your best efforts, you feel questions aren't getting good answers, you can help by offering a bounty. Slice off anywhere from +50 to +500 of your own hard-earned reputation and attach it to any question as a bounty. The bountied question will appear with a special indicator in all question lists, and it will also be visible on the home page Featured tab for the duration of the bounty period.

When you start a bounty on your question, you're announcing that you'll pay so-and-so rep to whoever fixes your problem within 7 days.

Recently, the bounty system was updated so that you can use it to give extra points to any worthy answer.

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You mean to say.. bounty is like a paid service where i have to pay reputation , in lieu of accepted answer. –  Amit Ranjan Jul 13 '10 at 13:07
    
@Amit Bounties used to be like that - asker offers a reward to get his question answered - bounty questions are featured here. Recently bounty system was updated so that you can use it to give extra points to any worthy answer. –  Amarghosh Jul 13 '10 at 13:20
    
@Amit It's not really "in lieu of an accepted answer". The ideal goal is meant to make your question much more visible and attractive, which may increase the chances that you get an acceptable answer. Something needs to be exchanged in order to assert why your question deserves better attention, and reputation fits the bill best. –  Grace Note Jul 13 '10 at 13:28
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The 'start a bounty' button opens the bounty creation interface. It's safe to click on it, there's another button inside which actually starts the bounty.

(Details on bounty -> FAQ or the other answer)

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