I have some bounty assigned to a question on a different SE site. This question has been open for 11 days now, and the bounty expires in 3 days. Currently there are no answers, so what would happen to the bounty if there are 0 answers once it is expires?

I've read through the FAQ on the bounty, and it doesn't seem to cover this case.

  • This site has major issues. The whole concept doesn't make sense. Basically, it's punishing us because it assumes we're the reason we didn't get any answers? It puts the blame on us by default and expects us to be satisfactory with that? It isn't enough that I'm GIVING away something I rightfully earned? Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


The bounty ends with no rep being allocated to anyone. Note that you don't get the rep back.

The criteria for an answer to be eligible for automatic awarding are as follows:

  • The answer must be given after the bounty was started
  • The answer must have a score of at least +2
  • If two or more eligible answers have the same score, the oldest answer is awarded the bounty.

If no answers meet these criteria, the bounty ends without it being awarded to any answer, and is not refunded to the bounty starter.

bounty on MSO

  • Oh, I guess I missed that last phrase. Thanks for the answer. I appreciate it.
    – Kirk
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 5:33
  • You're welcome, @Kirk
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 5:33
  • 1
    The paragraph in help superuser.com/help/bounty says "If there's no answer meeting those criteria, no bounty is awarded to anyone.". This suggests that the credit comes back to me. Please whoever has access there please highlight the fact that your credit goes down if the bounty is no awarded to anyone! It's frustrating to see reputation going down while the bounty has not been awarded to anyone, it is against expectations. Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 14:45
  • Not giving back the reputation is like saying we should be sanctioned for not providing a better question in the first place. That's kind of arrogant and defeats the purpose of having such a thing in the first place. I wasn't aware that I wouldn't be getting my rep back once the bounty expired. I even edited my question THREE times. It's not like I wasn't trying. It sholdn't COST me to start a bounty. This is a Q&A site, not a competition. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 3:14

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