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How does the bounty system work?

I placed a bounty on AudioQueueFreeBuffer warning. I didn't get any valid answers — I did get one answer that wasn't helpful — and simply lost my 50 reputation points. Will those points be given back to me?

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marked as duplicate by Pops, Arjan, Al E., Anna Lear Mar 20 '12 at 17:29

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

No, bounties are not refunded, even if no answers were posted. The purpose of the bounty system is like advertising—even if no one buys the product, you must pay for the advertisement.

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10  
but then the name bounty is misleading, since when no one catches a criminal, you don't have to pay anyone –  Asaf Mar 5 '11 at 14:39
    
This is a good point. I was confused by this as well. Can it be renamed? –  Joshua Frank Apr 8 '13 at 13:16

No. Bounties are not refunded once offered to a question. The reason is to encourage people who really are looking for answers to their questions. If bounties were to be refunded, it would've encouraged people to just offer bounties for all questions making the Bounty system not so useful at all.

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