I offered a bounty on this question, but after the bounty expired, the only and top-rated answer was not auto-accepted. Now I don't have the option to accept any answer and the bounty points seem to have vanished altogether ... Is this a bug, expected behavior or did I do something wrong?

Edit: This all happened many days ago, so it can't be related to the slight delay in auto-acceptance. Or can it?

1 Answer 1


Any answer with fewer than 2 upvotes will not be auto-accepted; you have to manually accept it. This is part of the "contract," if you will, that starting a bounty gives you -- you're not supposed to let it run out, you're supposed to select an answer. This is by design.

Rules of bounties:

All of this can also be found in the FAQ:

Once initiated, the bounty period lasts 7 days. If you mark an accepted answer, your bounty is awarded to the answerer (do note that accepted bounty answers are permanent and cannot be changed). If you do not accept an answer in 7 days, here is what happens at the end of the bounty period:

  • The highest voted answer created after the bounty started with at least 2 upvotes will be automatically accepted. Half the bounty will be awarded to the owner of that answer.
  • If there is no answer meeting the above criteria, and you as the question owner have not opted to accept an answer, you forfeit your right to ever accept an answer to your question.

In any case, you will always give up the amount of reputation specified in the bounty, so if you start a bounty, be sure to follow up and accept the best answer!

  • 1
    Thx. I guess this is a case of RTFM on my end. It would have been helpful, though, to see the "2 votes minimum" requirement in the "popup" one gets when creating the bounty. If I had known, I would have marked the only existing one as answer before the bounty ran out. Commented Jan 26, 2010 at 19:29
  • I had exactly this happen myself. This question explained it for me. I wish I could select the only answer that was provided even though it never did receive 2 votes. :-(
    – Jaxidian
    Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 21:34

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