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How does the bounty system work?

I answered Capturing sound from TV Card with C# some time ago. It had a bounty of 200. The bounty period ended. Then came the grace period (first time I've seen that and I've since read up on it). Then the grace period ended a day or two ago. But I've still not received my bounty. And my bounty info confirms this. What gives?

I've seen similar questions on meta already, but they all relate to the grace period not expiring.


This appears to be a bug. Sequence of events:

  • Date Unknown. Bounty offered by original author (selo). Whilst the date is unknown, I know it was offered before my answer
  • Sep 1. Answer posted by me
  • Sep 3. My answer accepted by selo
  • Sep 10. Post edited by Gilles. As a result, the bounty start date is reset to Sep 10, which is clearly wrong. Thus, no one is awarded the bounty.
  • 2
    Your answer was posted before the bounty was started, and is therefore ineligible to win the auto-award. See section "What is automatic awarding?" in the bounty FAQ.
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:31
  • Aha! It looks to be a bug. The bounty was definitely offered when I answered - I specifically looked into for that reason. The post was edited 2 days ago by a different user and the bounty now states that it was started then. Bug, methinks. Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:35
  • 1
    @Kent: The revisions say that the bounty was started September 3rd: stackoverflow.com/posts/7269958/revisions Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:47
  • Err... how sure are you about the timeline? I'm seeing the question history showing the following: "asked Sep 1 at 12:00," "bounty started ... Sep 3 at 15:25," edited "Sep 10 at 14:14," edited again "Sep 10 at 14:14" (an "accept and improve" of a suggested edit) and "bounty ended ... Sep 11 at 17:20." Your answer was posted "Sep 1 at 12:27."
    – Pops
    Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:47
  • Er, guys, do you think selo would post a bounty 2 days after my answer was posted? An answer that I didn't modify, was easy for selo to test, and that was right? Point all you like to history. Fact is, I answered the question because there was a bounty on offer. If the system records don't match up, that hardly proves me wrong, since it's the system in question in the first place. Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 17:51
  • 2
    The real issue is that the question asker didn't really understand how bounty worked - he accepted your answer and then started a bounty, probably to award you an extra bonus. However, the system will not allow immediate bounty awards and selo never returned to the question to award you the bounty. Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


You posted your answer on the day the question was asked. It's impossible to set a bounty that early. One must wait until 2 days pass before a bounty can be posted.

The bounty start date also corresponds to the date your answer was accepted (which is indeed 2 days later). Perhaps the bounty was intended to get more attention to your answer, or perhaps give it an extra reward. The latter certainly failed, though. It wouldn't be the first time someone has posted a bounty after getting what they found to be a good answer, though.


Looking at the revision page for that question, I notice the following events:

  • September 1 at 12:00:11: The question is asked from Selo
  • September 3 at 15:25:43: Selo offers a bounty
  • September 10 at 14:14:45: Gilles edits the question

Looking at the timeline for that question, I notice that the answer has been accepted on September 3 at 15:25:28.

That means the answer has been accepted before the bounty was even started; therefore, it was not considered as candidate for the bounty.

  • The revision history has the bounty being started at 15:25:43, but the timeline you linked to has the answer being accepted 15 seconds earlier at 15:25:28. Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 18:12
  • Whoops… you are right; I don't know how I read 43.
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 18:53

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