This question already has an answer here:

On this recent question, a user placed a 500 rp bounty.

The question has attracted four answers of which 3 shows the same net amount of upvotes.

The user didn't choose any of the answers and let the system assign the bounty.

I know that in this case only half of the bounty is given to the answer with more upvotes, but in this case, it is not clear to me why the bounty was assigned to one of the answers which has the same upvotes as the other two.

Can anybody help me understand the dynamics behind this?

marked as duplicate by Glorfindel, Ward, ale, Servy support May 31 '18 at 15:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Is one of the questions older than the other? – Journeyman Geek May 31 '18 at 9:27
  • @JourneymanGeek - you mean the answers? – user386558 May 31 '18 at 9:33
  • ... Yes, Blame me just waking up. I mean the answers. – Journeyman Geek May 31 '18 at 9:34
  • @JourneymanGeek - yes, of course, answers were posted on different occasions before the bounty expired. I linked the question I am referring to. – user386558 May 31 '18 at 9:35
  • It's awarded to the oldest answer, see the FAQ. – Glorfindel May 31 '18 at 9:37
  • @Glorfindel - NO, the answer in question is not the oldest. – user386558 May 31 '18 at 9:54
  • You're right, but the other answer is from May 19th, so before the bounty was posted. Therefore, it's not eligible for automatic awarding. – Glorfindel May 31 '18 at 9:56
  • @Glorfindel - so, what's the rule? that it is awarded to the oldest considering only the time span of the bounty? – user386558 May 31 '18 at 9:58
  • @user2922582 in short, the rule is it is awarded to the oldest among eligible answers, which means several things: posted while the bounty was active, got score of at least 2, and not posted by the one starting the bounty. – Shadow Wizard May 31 '18 at 14:35
  • @ShadowWizard - ok, got it. Thanks for your help. – user386558 May 31 '18 at 14:37

Only three answers, not four, were posted after the bounty started. Out of those three, two got score of 3.

So when the bounty ended, only those two answers were eligible for the automatic reward. Both were posted in May 23, one at 13:51 and one at 15:12.

As the How does the bounty system work? faq says:

...If two eligible answers have the same score, the older answer is chosen.

And indeed, the answer that was posted at 13:51, which is older than the answer posted over hour later, got half the bounty.

  • ok, thanks. So one question remains. What's the rationale behind leaving the pre bounty question out of the race? – user386558 May 31 '18 at 10:33
  • 1
    @user2922582 you mean answer posted before bounty started? The reason is that such answers usually attracts upvotes over time, so it's not really a "fair game". Bounty can also be started after years, not week or two as in the case of that question, and over the years existing answers can easily get to 10 or 20, which on non-SO sites it's almost impossible to reach with new answer in only a week, even if it's a great answer. – Shadow Wizard May 31 '18 at 10:44
  • @user2922582 Another reason for excluding pre-bounty answers: The purpose of a bounty is generally attracting attention and new answers for a question. Inclusion of existing answers doesn't fit that incentivization model. As for bounties that are started explicitly to reward a great existing answer, those can be awarded manually by the bounty starter over a several-day span. And even they have a waiting period in case the bounty attracts an even better answer. – SOLO May 31 '18 at 14:38
  • I don’t understand why this question has been closed as a duplicate. The supposed original one is just a list of how bounty works in a number of cases, but how could I find my answer in there? – user386558 May 31 '18 at 16:41
  • @user2922582 the part that I quoted: "If two eligible answers have the same score, the older answer is chosen". This answers your question, I just elaborated. – Shadow Wizard May 31 '18 at 19:26