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I have recently won a few bounties on stackoverflow. (I knew I would get them because the awarders told me in the comment they would give them to me or had flagged the answer as right) I eventually was awarded the bounty but I actually could not see it until after the grace period was over.

this lead me to thinking, at first, that the awarders had forgotten to click the +50 button bellow my answer. still I ended up getting the bounties despite caducation afterwards !?!?

so my question is: what is going on? Is it that I was awarded the bounties on time but I will always see them only after the grace period has passed? did my awarders just forget? or did they award the bounty close to the deadline but stackoverflow uses some distributed DB system that only syncs every so many hours?

I am usually pretty eager to anwser questions with bounties and I put quite a bit of effort into them (cause Im a victim of gamification and incentives XD, long live capitalism) but I wouldn't want to be unnecessarily pushy on awarders if its not on them.

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    Not everyone awards bounties. Bounties that expire and are subject to automatic awarding are processed after the grace period, provided there are answers that match the awarding criteria. Mar 21 '20 at 18:41
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    It's for your benefit. As a result of the increased attention for the question, your answer will receive more upvotes. I had this actually happen to me once there, and this was the reason cited by the bounty owner. Mar 21 '20 at 18:42
  • @Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog , Ah ok that actually makes sense. And I guess the awarder could also expect to get even better answers than mine while the bounty ends. however, you are kind of in limbo before getting the bounty, as in theory it might also be that the awarder has just forgotten to click +50. it would be nice to at least get notified that the bounty was tentatively awarded to me (even If I'm the only one that sees that) Mar 21 '20 at 18:52
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    In the first instance you asked for the bounty (while the other answer was longer and had more votes) and in the other instance the spelling was poor - you can't base your experience at SE based on a few people.
    – Rob
    Mar 21 '20 at 19:33
  • @Rob actually no, I was offered the bounty on a comment I had made (look at the third comment stackoverflow.com/a/60700480/10637400). I just asked for it like 38 minutes before the grace period was over because the I was afraid the awarder would have forgotten. Plus I am asking you here in order not to do that again in case there is a reason why it took so long as I dont want to needlessly be pushy. There is one other bounty I am waiting on and I just wanted to know if getting them at the last moment is a feature or just coincidence. Mar 21 '20 at 20:48
  • on the "poor spelling answer" I wasnt even expecting the bounty but it also came pretty late. so there were 3 questions behaving similarly and I though I'd just ask. but actually @Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog 's comment makes total sense and if she/he puts it in an answer she/he'll get an upvote from me (unless he doesnt want to be asociated with this sinnful question XD (geeez -3 already)) Mar 21 '20 at 21:02
  • quealegriamasalegre ... In that event, then your question is a duplicate of this. Another way of looking the suggestions above is: If you offer a really excellent answer that needs no improvement and the benefactor chooses to, you'll be awarded the full bounty soon after posting your answer - possibly even receiving additional bounties thereafter. --- How and why an individual makes their decision is speculation (an opinion) unless they comment on why the chose you over the other.
    – Rob
    Mar 21 '20 at 21:14
  • ok, so you are saying it is coincidence and I could have gotten the bounty right away but the awarder chose not to despite explicitly telling me he would and I should learn to live with that. which is also a perfectly valid answer to my question, so thanks. And maybe his motivations are the ones pointed out by @Sonic but we'll never know. Mar 21 '20 at 21:37
  • if anything my question is a duplicate of this post meta.stackexchange.com/questions/68019/… and I wasnt aware that there was something such as auto-awarding to thanks to @Zoe as well. I read somewhere on this forum that if a bounty was not awarded it just disappeared. I guess I could have googled that more thoroughly Mar 21 '20 at 21:43
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So Sorry it seems this is my bad. I just wasn't aware of automatic awarding.

browsing through the top few questions in the following documentation I understood that a bounty expires after the grace period of 24 hours and it was my understanding this was the end of it (the bounty was just lost after that i.e. no one gets it if it isnt awarded).

However had I read on, I would have seen that there is also automatic awarding which is basically what happens when the person setting the bounty just forgets or goes on vacation. And letting this mechanism take over actually makes sense as pointed out by @Sonic in the comments. I just oversaw it in the docs and this was my first experience with bounties.

As for bounties being awarded after the grace period, that had already been asked in a different question which I now flagged above.

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