I've provided an answer on a question with a bounty, however once my answer was accepted I was not credited the bounty. The question in question is:

Ruby/Rails: accessing a variable inside a .each on my instance variable array causing Ruby interpreter to crash


As you can see in the question's revision history:

Bounty Ended with no winning answer by Community♦ (Sept. 16th)

So the bounty was not awarded by the person who started it. Accepting an answer doesn't award the bounty.

If I understand the question's timeline correctly, you answered on Sep. 8th and got an upvote on Sep. 12th. You got a second upvote on Sep 19th, i.e. after the bounty period was over.

According to the bounty FAQ, for an automatic bounty award, you would have needed two upvotes before the 16th to get (half) the bounty amount.

From the bounties I have been awarded, here's what a manually awarded bounty looks like in the revisions: manual award
And here is an automatic (half) bounty award: automatic award

  • Perhaps accepting an answer should award the bounty. I mean, the action of accepting an answer by definition says "this is the answer i think is best" -- can you think of any non-sneaky case where that answer shouldn't get the bounty? – cHao Oct 17 '11 at 5:38
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    That used to be the case, but it is not anymore. The FAQ mentions it: As of June 2010, the bounty system is decoupled from accepting an answer. (blog link). The bounty privilege says the same: "* You can accept an answer without awarding a bounty to it. * You can award a bounty on an answer without accepting it.". This is by design. – Mat Oct 17 '11 at 5:45
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    As for why this could be useful, the "Reward existing answer" bounty reason in particular (or the spirit of it anyway) applies. If you accepted a great answer that got lots of votes, but have other answers that are also great (and possible required a lot of work form their authors) but didn't get as much attention, awarding your bounty to other answers makes sense. – Mat Oct 17 '11 at 5:54
  • Good investigation, @Mat - you are correct. – Jarrod Dixon Oct 18 '11 at 1:49
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    Thanks guys for clarifying, seems slightly unintuitive. perhaps a nice popup to the poster of the question after accepting it to remind them that they should award the bounty would be helpful? – MatthewFord Oct 18 '11 at 23:51

It's worth noting that the rules of the bounty system have changed since this question was originally asked. Under the current rules, the answer would be awarded the bounty if it was accepted.

If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer during the bounty period, and the bounty expires without an explicit award – we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.

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