I answered this question on March 13th:

Comparing DateTime structs to find free slots

The OP put in a comment to my answer that he was going to award a bounty because he appreciated my answer so much. Note that the answer wasn't accepted for two days (and the OP noted that it was intentional), it is the only answer, and to date it has 39 up votes. Yet in the revisions it says "Bounty ended with no winning answer."


After reading the FAQ I gather this is because the OP didn't feel a bounty was warranted until after he read my answer.

If this is the way the bounty system is supposed to work, it seems wrong. The OP clearly wanted to reward me for the effort I put into solving his problem, but it seems that if he was offline when the bounty expired, then the only way anyone could have received the bounty is if someone else came along, provided an additional answer, and got two up-votes. In which case the system would assume that this must be a superior answer because it was in response to a bounty, instead of the other way around.

To me this seems like a no-brainer situation where the bounty should have been automatically awarded. Or manually when I raised a flag about it (which was simply declined with the meta URL). Instead it was just wasted, presumably because the OP didn't log into he site after being told to manually award the bounty. Perhaps there should be a way for a bounty to be associated with an existing answer so that it automatically gets awarded as the OP intended - instead of being used solely as bait for new answers.


Bounties can only be awarded manually, if the bounty is started after the top-ranking answer has already been posted. See "How do I award a bounty" in https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/16067/102937; the OP could have awarded the bounty 24 hours after starting it.

The OP must have assumed that the bounty would be awarded to you automatically, even though you had already answered; according to his profile, the OP hasn't visited since April 3.

It's clearly not intentional; the bounty amount gets deducted from the OP's reputation whether it is awarded or not, so it does the OP no good for the bounty to not get awarded.

  • Well it's too bad the OP lost the rep and it just vanished into the ether, even though clearly the intention was to reward an answer that already existed. – Aaron Bertrand Apr 10 '12 at 3:18

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