Open

by damned truths

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

What is a bounty? How can I start one?

If you’ve asked a good question, edited it with status and progress updates, and still are not receiving answers, you can draw attention to your question by placing a bounty on it.

A bounty is a special reputation award given to answers. It is funded by the personal reputation of the user who offers it, and is non-refundable. If you see a question that has not gotten a satisfactory answer, a bounty may help attract more attention and more answers. Slice off anywhere from +50 to +500 of your own hard-earned reputation, and attach it to any question as a bounty. You do not need to be the asker of the question to offer a bounty on it.

  • All bounties are paid for up front and non-refundable under any circumstances.
  • If your new reputation brings you below the requirement for any privileges, you will lose access to those privileges.
  • Users may only have three active bounties at any given time.
  • Questions may only have one active question bounty at any given time.
  • To avoid overly promotional bounties, if you are offering a bounty on a question that you have already posted an answer to, your minimum spend is 100 reputation (not 50).
  • Additionally, if you offer multiple bounties on the same question, the minimum spend doubles with each subsequent bounty (50 reputation on the first bounty, 100 reputation on the second, 200 on the third, and so on).
  • You may not cancel a bounty once it has been started.

What happens when I start a bounty?

The bountied question will appear with a special indicator in all question lists, and it will also be visible on the homepage Featured tab for 7 days. Part of what you’re “paying for” with the bounty is to get additional attention for your question, over and beyond what a normal question gets. A bounty does not guarantee a response, however, and reputation refunds are not available if no answers are received as a result of the bounty.

How do I start a bounty? When can I start a bounty?

A bounty can be started on a question two days after the question was asked.

To start a bounty, click on the "start a bounty" link at the bottom of an eligible question and allocate anywhere between 50 and 500 reputation, in 50-point increments. You can also choose from a list of bounty reasons to help other users understand why you’re dissatisfied with any current answers to the question. If you need to describe something in more detail, there’s also optional, additional custom text that will be displayed with the bounty reason.

How is a bounty awarded?

The bounty period lasts 7 days. Bounties must have a minimum duration of at least 1 day. After the bounty ends, there is a grace period of 24 hours to manually award the bounty. Simply click the bounty award icon next to each answer to permanently award your bounty to the answerer. (You cannot award a bounty to your own answer.)

If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period), the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with a minimum score of 2 will be awarded half the bounty amount. If two or more eligible answers have the same score (i.e., their scores are tied), the oldest answer is awarded the bounty. If there's no answer meeting those criteria, the bounty is not awarded to anyone.

If the bounty was started by the question owner, and the question owner accepts an answer posted during the bounty period, and the bounty expires without an explicit award then we assume the bounty owner liked the answer they accepted and award it the full bounty amount at the time of bounty expiration.

As a special bonus, any reputation you earn from being awarded a bounty is exempt from the daily reputation cap.