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This question already has an answer here:

So quite a while ago I opened up a bounty question for 50 rep, but never received an answer. What I never understood was that if I ever got any of that bounty rep back. 5's dwindled in, but I think that was upvotes the question was receiving.

So do you get an type of refund at all if a bounty question of your is not answered? Or is it just a waste of rep?

marked as duplicate by Frank, Billy Mailman, Robotnik, 3ventic, l I May 19 '14 at 18:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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No. Bounties are not refunded when they expire:

When does a bounty expire?
Bounties expire after seven days. You will receive several notifications a few days before this happens.

If you do not award the bounty within 24 hours of the bounty period ending, half the bounty value will be automatically awarded to the top voted answer posted after the bounty start, provided it has a score of at least 2. If no new answer matches this requirement, no reputation will be awarded at all, and the reputation used on the bounty will be lost forever.

Please note that once a bounty is started, the reputation is non-refundable under any circumstances.

  • Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. Although it's a shame I lost all that rep for nothing... – Guy May 18 '14 at 23:23
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    @Guy Bounties are paying for attention, since you can't force an answer. Having the rep go to an answerer is a reward for posting extra attention ;) – Matthew Read May 18 '14 at 23:42

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