A while ago I offered reputation to the first person that could come up with a solution to this problem using Brain-Flak/Brain-Flueue. A user was successful and I created a bounty on the question to award their answer (not visible to lower rep users). The answer has since been deleted because it was not "a serious contender for the winning criteria in use". I don't disagree with the posts deletion, it was not well golfed at all and those are the rules, but now I have a +150 rep bounty sitting on a question to award an answer that no longer exists. At the end of the week the 150 rep will have to go to one of the answers on the challenge. It seems dishonest to award the answer to another answer after stating it was for a specific answer, but I'd rather not let it be awarded to a random answer on the question. What should I do?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't give the bounty to anybody or request a refund. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Apr 20 '17 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill I don't believe that is possible. The unfortunate thing is that bounties are auto awarded to the highest voted answer submitted during the bounty period. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Apr 20 '17 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WheatWizard Kind of. If the bounty is automatically awarded, it will only award half of the bounty's value to the highest voted answer. If you manually award it, the full value is given. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 20 '17 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I think that the answer shouldn't have been deleted, since there was a bounty open for it. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 20 '17 at 21:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 Bounties do not excempt answers from site-wide rules, and I don't think it deleting the answer after the bounty was awarded to it would have been any better. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Apr 20 '17 at 22:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Considering the languages, it didn't look ungolfed to me. It looked unreadable. \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Apr 21 '17 at 19:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mbomb007 Well, the golfed version ended up being 22 times shorter. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem Apr 26 '17 at 20:55

I can see three options here.

  1. Wait and hope @DestructibleLemon fixes their answer. They still have 5 days to do so.

  2. Award the bounty to another answer that fulfills the criteria. @Riley's seems to be the fastest valid answer, and that an answer has to be valid to be posted on PPCG, bounty or not, is always implied.

  3. Ask a moderator to refund the bounty, either publicly or via a flag. We would do so for a bounty on a question that should be closed; this situation isn't that different.

What option you choose is up to you.

That said, I'd like to add that "Fastest Gun In The West" bounties, at least ones without any quality thresholds, seem to be a bad idea. They encourage subpar answer for the sake of collecting the bounty, which isn't doing anybody any favors and leads to problems like the one at hand.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I did not know that 3 was an option. Would it be possible to get a mod to void the bounty so that I could reinstate a higher bounty to reward the shortest answer? Or would that be considered a violation of the rules? \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Apr 21 '17 at 0:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I think a bounty that was meant to reward a now deleted answer is one of the exceptional circumstances that would allow moderators to refund the bounty. I'll do so if you want to, but I don't know for sure if the "doubling" rule applies here, i.e., the next bounty might have to be 300 or higher. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Apr 21 '17 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had intended to up the rep to 300 anyway so I'd be perfectly happy test the doubling rule. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Apr 21 '17 at 1:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ OK, I've removed the bounty and the rep has been refunded. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Apr 21 '17 at 1:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CartManagerXD Did it actually double or you just chose 300? \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Apr 23 '17 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EriktheOutgolfer I choose 300. I could have gone as low as 100 if I had wished. \$\endgroup\$ – Wheat Wizard Apr 23 '17 at 15:12

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