Now, I was thinking recently, and I was wondering, are we allowed to offer real-world prizes, such as gift codes, to the winning user of a challenge or a ?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you want to do this? IMO it only incriminates the challenge as spam/homework/"do this problem for me" \$\endgroup\$
    – Justin
    Jul 22, 2014 at 23:52
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/138522/180276 and its linked duplicates \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jul 23, 2014 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quincunx I dunno, some people might just want attention on their post... \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2014 at 0:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what bounties are for \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Sep 19, 2017 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's an example of a KOTH contest that offers monetary rewards (I am the author). To make it short, money is provided by the STEEM blockchain platform and it is completely independent of stackoverflow/codegolf. Do you think it contradicts the values of codegolf? steemit.com/aicontest/@gbd/the-ai-contest-2-real-tv-the-api \$\endgroup\$
    – PPC
    Feb 17, 2018 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure if it's allowed by site rules, but I am sure it's a terrible idea.

First of all, if there's anything the slightest bit subjective, such as in a , people will get upset if they don't get the money but think they should.

Second, if anything is underspecified, such as characters vs. bytes or date of language creation or whatever, people will again get upset if they think they should win.

Third, many really excellent results involve collaboration/using parts of other solutions, so divying up the money could get difficult.

I would say that if you want to give a monetary reward, host it off-site, use sealed submissions and give really clear rules.


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