I asked a question on StackOverflow recently, and got no answers. I applied a 500 point bounty to said question in an attempt to encourage answers. The only answer I have as of yet is someone obviously trying to "steal the bounty" -- i.e. the posted link is only vaguely related to the question I actually asked.

Is there a way to prevent the bounty award to that particular answer when time runs out on the bounty?

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    Give it some time. You typically won't receive any good bounty answers until the last day or two of the bounty. In the vast majority of cases, you don't need to do anything to the bounty hunters. – Adam Davis Jan 12 '11 at 0:37
  • +1 for helping me with my bounty situation. – Joe the Person Jun 21 '11 at 4:51

Is there a way to prevent the bounty award to that particular answer when time runs out on the bounty?

Self-answering and awarding the bounty to that answer (thus losing the amount) is perfectly acceptable in such cases IMO.

A downvote on the frivolous answer will help prevent the auto-accept mechanism from awarding it to it: You need at least 2 upvotes to qualify for auto-awarding.

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    Hmm.. I don't know whether to upvote or downvote. +1. – Billy ONeal Jan 12 '11 at 0:09
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    Hmm. This confuses me. Are two upvotes required, or is at least +2 on the question required? If it's the former, downvotes will have no impact on the bounty award. IOW, is an answer at +1 (with three upvotes and two downvotes) eligible for a bounty award? – Michael Petrotta Jan 12 '11 at 0:24
  • @Michael poses a good question, I'd like some clarification on this mechanism too. – greatwolf Jan 12 '11 at 1:44
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    @Michael - it is an overall score of +2 So receiving one down vote and two up votes would not make it eligible for the auto accept. – codingbadger Jan 12 '11 at 10:56
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    @Barry Nothing another upvote can't fix, however... – badp Jan 12 '11 at 20:02

..ending in 7 days

I disagree with how the system works, but the way it works your bounty will do very little to nothing during the first 6 days.

In fact, based on my personal experience and not hard data, it's unlikely to even get a single answer during the beginning of the bounty period.

But fear not! During the last day, and last hours in particular, when your question will be at the top of the Featured tab, you will get tons of good answers.

You just need to have a little patience. =)

EDIT: this also means that only in exceptional circumstances you should accept an answer before the very end of the bounty period, since it's very possible you will get an even better answer then.

  • Not worried about the lack of answers at this point -- only worried about people who don't deserve the bounty getting the award. – Billy ONeal Jan 12 '11 at 0:09
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    @Billy: this is very unlikely to happen even with no intervention on your part – Thomas Bonini Jan 12 '11 at 0:10
  • This can happen. Here is my example: stackoverflow.com/questions/3466490/… The answer was not bad but it didn't answered my question at all. – Ladislav Mrnka Jan 12 '11 at 0:37
  • I said unlikely not impossible =) – Thomas Bonini Jan 12 '11 at 1:03

That particular answer is a hidden promotion, as it seems from context. So it won't get even 2 upvotes as it's unrelated to your question. I would be more concerned about those two answers, that have got two upvotes already, while being not real answers but more of an attempt to get a bounty.

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