At the time of writing, 30 users on Stack Overflow have more than 500k reputation, and one user is a reputation millionaire.

The millionaire user with more than 34,000 answers has posted only two answers in three months, yet is easily reaching 200 reputation/day on most days. He's essentially able to retire enjoying a generous pension, for he can't much increase his reputation income anymore by posting new answers¹.

The current runner up with currently around 17,000 answers is also earning 200 rep on most days, entirely from votes on old posts.

One 600k user with around 6,300 answers has been not been posting answers for a couple of years, and he seems to earn 200 rep on roughly half of days as well.

I don't think any other site has users who can similarly retire. The [top math user] seems to earn about 30–70 rep/day from old posts, so would probably need about 4× more posts to reach Stack Exchange Nirvana. I did not systematically check other high-activity non-SO sites.

Based on voting patterns for old posts, how much reputation and how many posts would a user typically need, such that their expectation value of daily reputation earned from votes on old posts is approximately 200 rep? The answer would likely depend on the site, and probably hasn't been reached by anybody on any other site than Stack Overflow, but estimates could still be extrapolated. Of course, it depends on the quality of the answers as well, but those stellar users surely all provide very high quality answers.

¹But of course we all hope that he will not retire and that he will rather sustain his brilliant contributions to the site!

  • 1
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/86008/236563
    – Chenmunka
    Sep 4, 2018 at 17:24
  • 3
    I think it's hard to extrapolate. The type of posts the user wrote does make a considerable difference. For instance another user on math.se that is mostly inactive since much longer than the one you mentioned, gets a pretty solid pensions from a quarter of the posts. The difference is that this one wrote some detailed 'standard' answers very early on and that 'pays more dividends' in the long run.
    – quid
    Sep 4, 2018 at 20:57
  • @MassimoOrtolano I missed those, I did not search very well. Reformulated this sentence.
    – gerrit
    Sep 5, 2018 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


This query can be helpful to analyze the results for different sites. As you can see, there's currently about a dozen users on Stack Overflow with an average above 200 (but one should note that the virtual scores during the weekend are probably significantly lower). There's even a user with a 'measly' 175k reputation and 863 posts who almost manages to do so.

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If you compare that to the situation on Meta Stack Exchange, it's a lot harder to get the pension. The top earner, Shog9, has 338k reputation (and almost 3000 posts) but gains less than 30 reputation per day from old posts.

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Preliminary conclusion: Stack Overflow's problems are 'more repeatable' / occur more often than Meta problems (or Mathematics problems, as you noted).

I found one other user with a pension: Gilles on Unix & Linux:

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  • 1
    Also notice that all users on MSE with the "pension" are current or former employees of SE. Sep 4, 2018 at 18:26

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