I set a bounty (50 pts) on someone else's question, as I found it quite interesting but there had only been one half-answer. I posted an answer, but felt someone else may have been able to put in more input.
After about 5-6 days or so, only one extra answer had been posted - and it wasn't as complete as mine. As no one else seemed interested and my answer was the highest voted, I 'awarded' the bounty back to myself.
...as I've now read, this loses the bounty? I don't understand this policy - I wouldn't have been 'gaining' 50 rep - I would just have recovered it (and on the highest rated answer too).
Even if I had cheekily awarded the bounty back to myself unjustly, I don't see that this would do any harm. The community would have voted up the best answers and the asker would accept the best question... so anyone trying to abuse the system wouldn't gain anything.
At the very least, I feel like I should have been prompted that awarding the bounty to my answer would lose it.