I came upon this answer with bounty awarded which I found little weird since I cannot see who awarded the bounty.

enter image description here

From the screenshot above, there is no reference to who awarded them.. I have read how bounty system works. And few things I can deduce from that..

  • Since it displays +500 and not +0, it means its not self assignment of bounty. Someone else awarded the bounty.(Note its OP's self answer to his question).
  • Since, maximum bounty is awarded i.e. +500. Then its not automatic awarded(So, Community user is not involved in foul play here.)

The only thing I can guess is that maybe the user who awarded the bounty got deleted, but even in this case I would I expected "This answer has been awarded bounties worth 500 reputation by userXXXXXX" i.e. with his unique id.

Note:- This is an old answer...

  • It is possible that the user who applied the bounty has since deleted their account, and that the account deletion pre-dates Stack Exchange perfecting the process?
    – Flyk
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:01
  • @Flyk maybe, just maybe. Even I thought so, see last para.. but still the tooltip looks weird... "awarded by "(ghost)
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:05
  • yeah something is definitely up with it
    – Flyk
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:07
  • @Flyk I think there is something I missed, since Oded removed the bug tag from the question... Still, looking for official answer
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:08
  • Zombie bounty... think I saw that once, not a bug because it does not happen anymore. @Oded you remember where it was reported before? Anyway, no bounty according to this. Jan 2, 2014 at 9:17
  • @ShadowWizard Assuming what you say(i.e. it doesnt happen anymore) is true, I suppose they solved something..but that doesnt mean to leave a zombie/ghost user in tooltip.. there might be many questions like this, some or all with historical importance left with zombie bounty..
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:26
  • @CRUSADER mystery solved, will post answer shortly. :) Jan 2, 2014 at 9:32
  • @ShadowWizard can you please put an answer adding some light on the situation here, what exactly might have happened so that we can close the question.. There is no point in discussing old.. already solved.. never to be found bug.. let your answer be referance for the future user who have same curiousty like me and come here.. :)
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:33
  • @ShadowWizard Ohh OK... gr8
    Jan 2, 2014 at 9:33
  • Done. Now you can start new feature request asking to hide/remove those zombie bounty messages when there's no real bounty behind them. :) Jan 2, 2014 at 9:47

1 Answer 1


There was indeed a +500 bounty on the question that was awarded to that answer, but later was canceled due to gaming the system (sock puppet account) and back then it did not leave any trace in the question or answer revisions.

To understand how and why it happened, read this other answer. It becomes clear now that at first, the answer was written by a new user (not the question author) but then they found out it's the same user, and the accounts were merged.

Not sure who canceled the bounty, maybe it was even manual work of a dev, but it doesn't really matter: the bounty is no more, and these days dev's won't do such a thing so we'll have all the events recorded in the post revisions. (in case of such merge today, the bounty will be nullified to +0)

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