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I currently have an unanswered question for which the bounty just expired. I got an inbox message stating that the bounty will be "auto awarded". If no one answered, who is it awarded to? If it's no one, is there a way to either reword the message or just not have it appear?

This scenario occurs a few times. In the case of this question, I don't think it can be edited further. Perhaps, it really does stump people. Is it worthwhile reposting a bounty, or should I just "give up"?

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  • If there's no eligible answer (posted during the bounty period, score 2+), there's no award. – Monica Cellio Jun 17 '15 at 19:05
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    +1 for the feature request: "just not have ['bounty has expired and will be auto-awarded'] appear [in case there is no answer at all]". – msh210 Jun 18 '15 at 4:51
  • @msh210, this question now has a +2 answer. Will it get half the bounty automatically? Or does the grace period mean something exclusionary? If the former, then they can't say that definitively in the e-mail. – Yishai Jun 18 '15 at 12:45
  • @Yishai I don't know. But what you say seems reasonable: if it still might be auto-awarded, then a message should go out. – msh210 Jun 18 '15 at 12:59
  • @msh210, looks like the answer is yes, it will. So even if there is no current answer, it may still be auto awarded. I'm sure it could all be worded better, but all the current wording means is that the auto awarding rules will apply, whatever circumstances exist at expiration of the grace period. – Yishai Jun 24 '15 at 20:12
  • @Yishai Since no one answered, it seems that it didn't award anyone. Oh well :-( Maybe it will get some answer before next Yom Yerushalayim or before the couple has their 1st baby, whichever is earlier. – DanF Jun 24 '15 at 20:34
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As explained here:

What is automatic awarding?

Approximately 24 hours after the end of the bounty period, if the bounty starter has not manually awarded the bounty, the bounty may be awarded automatically.

If the bounty starter accepted an answer during the bounty period, that answer is awarded the bounty (provided that the answer was posted during the bounty period). Answers accepted before the bounty period are not eligible to be awarded the bounty automatically.

Otherwise, if there are eligible answers, the highest scoring is awarded half the bounty amount. The criteria for an answer to be eligible are:

  • The answer must have been given after the bounty was started
  • The answer must have a score of at least +2
  • The answer must not have been written by the bounty starter

If two or more eligible answers have the same score (if their scores are tied), the oldest answer is awarded the bounty.

If neither of these conditions apply, the bounty is not awarded to any answer, and is not refunded to the bounty starter.


Regarding the specific question, I have several of those, and bounties didn't help. I guess at a certain point you can't coax more out of the community than it wants to give. I gave up on my questions, but you are welcome to offer larger bounties.

BTW, I don't think they can change the wording because exactly what will happen is unknown - answers could get votes later.

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  • Thanks much. I agree that you can't coax people. I think the current question is one of several of my ponderables, though, I might get an answer on one form someone else. Then I'll just accept my own answer, hahaha ;-) – DanF Jun 17 '15 at 21:56
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    While not a short term answer, throwing on a small new bounty every year or so will certainly get it some new eyes, eyes which may see the solution. – Double AA Jun 18 '15 at 6:50
  • @DoubleAA Don't forget that repeated bounties from the same bounty-placer on the same question must increase in amount. – msh210 Jun 18 '15 at 13:01

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