@dakre18 is wrong. Users are free to reward bounties to any answer they feel deserve it, they're not just intended to draw more attention to a question. One of the default reasons for bounties makes this obvious:
One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.
If @dakre18 thinks another answer is more deserving of a bounty ...
What you've described is how it works already.
When the asker doesn't manually award the bounty, it goes to the highest up-voted answer posted since the start of the bounty. If no new answers have been posted (or none have received upvotes), the bounty fades away into the ether.
You're required to wait 24 hours after posting a bounty to award it to an answer. Beyond that, it's up to you. Personally, I tend to wait the full seven days, even if I've selected the "reward an exceptional answer" bounty reason. The reason I wait is because until I actually award the bounty, the question remains in the Featured questions list, increasing ...
If you don't manually award the bounty to someone, the awarded value will be automatically cut in half and will go to the highest-voted answer that was posted after the bounty started, given that it has a score of 2 or greater.
So, if you really, really want to avoid seeing your bounty given to an answer that is bad, your option is pretty much only to ...
A bounty offered on a question cannot be awarded to the person who offered the bounty. See the help page.
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 ...
As far as awarding bounties go, your rep is effectively yours to do with as you please. (After the imposed waiting period, of course.) You don't have to justify your awards to anyone.
That said, just like with down-votes, close-votes, etc., it is polite to leave some sort of explanation as to why you've awarded a bounty in a particular way. This especially ...
Bounties cannot be refunded. It looks like the answer was given it because it met the criteria for automatic rewarding:
They were posted after the bounty was started, and
They have a score of at least 2 (at the time the automatic awarding takes place), and
They were not written by the bounty starter.
So half the amount was given to the person who got it ...
You can't start a bounty on per-site metas, as those sites don't have a reputation system, they just copy the reputation of the main site. Meta Stack Exchange does have its own reputation system, so bounties can be started there.
For main sites, bounties can only be started at least 24 hours after a question's creation.
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 ...
Because the cap is based on total rep gained from upvotes per day (possibly also suggested edits if your rep were lower) not net rep gain per day.
Reducing your reputation by any means does not alter the fact that you have gained the rep cap worth of upvotes.
Some things, like being awarded a bounty, or having rep returned due to serial voting reversal ...
"Association Bonus" is a 100 rep bonus given to all site accounts of a given network user, if the user has more than 200 rep on any site throughout the network. This is to unlock basic privileges without extensive participation.
When you set make a bounty, you're allowed to pick one of several bounty reasons.
You're also granted a free form box to write things out in greater detail.
So, yes: you can set "whatever" requirements you'd like on your bounty (within reason). Just be aware that, once you do start the bounty:
You can only award it in the next 7 days
You cannot cancel ...
You should award the bounty if you are satisfied with the answer. I think the two main reasons for bounties placed on questions are: Giving the question more attention for better or more accurate answers or for rewarding high quality content.
Now one thing to note: Bounties are "paid" from your personal Rep. May it be for helping the community or for ...
This has been status-declined on Meta SE.
At a cursory glance it would make sense to allow bounties that 'Reward Existing Answer' to be applied immediately. However, there are some concerns that have been raised which has resulted in this being marked status-declined:
A Bounty's primary effect is to draw attention to the post (the question and any existing ...
No, there is not a way to add more rep to an existing bounty.
However, I think somewhere along the line you've got a little confused about how bounties work, and what they are for. I say this because you've put a bounty on a post you've already answered at length (a 500 word post!), having deleted your long answer.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing ...
Apparently you can't bounty a question you self answered for 50 reputation. The minimum bounty amount doubles with every successive self-answer bounty.
The idea is that such a bounty attracts upvotes to your answer and question and... it might just pay itself off. That's not how it should work.
Thanks for the assist, Yannis Rizos.
I would like to nominate this answer by Decency
Although the question I feel is just looking for some differences between the two games, Decency had gone in depth to the metagame of the two games and although you might need to have experience in both the games to fully comprehend the subtle differences, it nevertheless provided me with a good read :D
No, you cannot. From the bounty FAQ:
If you do not award your bounty within 7 days (plus the grace period),
the highest voted answer created after the bounty started with at
least 2 upvotes will be awarded half the bounty amount. If there's no
answer meeting that criteria, the bounty is not awarded to anyone.
If an upvoted answer exists, it will ...