First time I ever did this.

I asked a question, there was only one answer, and it was exemplary. I accepted it as the correct answer. (Did I mention it was the only answer?)

Because it was SO good and would be helpful to many others, I created a bounty to award that sole answer. I was surprised that I could not just award the bounty - it wanted me to wait for x number of hours. I don't go onto Stack Overflow every day, and when I next looked the bounty had expired and the points -- deducted from me -- were not awarded to that sole answer.

What can I do to award that bounty to the deserving answer?


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    The mandatory delay after "reward existing answer" is an endless source of frustration to me as well, but it exists, and for good reasons, so alas. – Jason C Mar 18 '17 at 21:16
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    I've started a new bounty on your question. I'll award that bounty to that answer when the system lets me. – rene Mar 18 '17 at 22:00
  • That's very kind of you, @rene. Much appreciated. – Gordon Mar 19 '17 at 14:12
  • @crashwap I've nothing more to add to the existing answers, so I'll not be writing an answer. – rene Mar 19 '17 at 15:32
  • @Scott Just looked it up and according to this, I was indeed incorrect. I'll remove the comment since Cai's answer seems to cover everything I was trying to say anyway. – Aurora0001 Mar 19 '17 at 19:18

It's all explained in How does the bounty system work?

If the answer had been posted and accepted after placing the bounty then it would have been auto awarded to that answer, but answers posted and/or accepted before the bounty period are not eligible to be awarded to automatically....

Not a lot you can do about that now; once the bounty is gone it is gone. If you really want the answerer to get the bounty you'll have to start another and award it manually.

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    Are you saying that the system is supposed to work in exactly this way? Where there is a single answer, a bounty is started to award that one answer, and the system cannot figure out what answer to award it to? Why does this not qualify as a bug? Surely outright losing the rep into the void is the least optimal of all possible outcomes? – crashwap Mar 18 '17 at 21:41
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    Yep, working as intended—so not a bug. I guess the main reason for bounties is to attract attention to get further answers so assuming a previous existing answer is worthy of the bounty isn't the best default assumption... – Cai Mar 18 '17 at 21:47
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    @crashwap you're verging on being rude now. It is not a limitation of C# that a human didn't decide to add an if checking both the bounty reason and the number of answers to induce yet another auto-award possibility, for people who set bounties and then ignore all the notifications about them. What's more, I think you know that and just felt like saying something mean while pretending to be polite. – Kate Gregory Mar 19 '17 at 14:27
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    An interesting side effect is that the bounty attracted a lot of interest (I presume from bounty hunters), so my answer received more upvotes than are common in that obscure region of SO. So it's kind of surprising it works this way but I'm grateful all around. :) – Gordon Mar 19 '17 at 14:40
  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the OP had a full 7 days (168 hours) during which he could have awarded the bounty.  Starting at 24 hours into the bounty period, and extending to the end of the grace period (24 hours after the bounty expired), he could have awarded the bounty at any time, right? The fact that he didn’t log in “every day” should not have been enough for him to totally miss his window of opportunity. – Scott Mar 19 '17 at 19:17
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    @crashwap: See also this feature request to make the system work as you say it should (i.e. to make existing answers eligible for auto-awarded bounties when the chosen reason for the bounty is to "reward an existing answer"). – Ilmari Karonen Mar 20 '17 at 12:57

Your bounty reason is only text to show to humans. It is not used by the system for any purpose. Specifically, the auto-awarding code doesn't consider your bounty reason.

From How does the bounty system work?

Approximately 24 hours after the end of the bounty period, if the bounty starter has not manually awarded the bounty, the bounty may be awarded automatically. If the bounty starter accepted an answer during the bounty period, that answer is awarded the bounty (provided that the answer was also posted during the bounty period). Answers created or accepted before the bounty period are not eligible to be awarded the bounty automatically.

Emphasis mine.

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    It is a just result. It works as it should. Failure to read the FAQ is not a good reason to ask mods to break the system. Also, mods can't :-) – Rory Alsop Mar 19 '17 at 14:12
  • No; just reading it is more then adequate – Ramhound Mar 19 '17 at 15:44

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