I assigned a 50 points bounty to a question. I did not award the bounty, and neither was it auto-awarded. Still, I did lose the 50 points. Where did the bounty go?
Unfortunately, bounties are non-refundable, and are deducted when they are started, so they are not reassigned back to the user. There were no answers with +2 or greater votes on the question, so it was not auto-awarded.
Please see: https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/help/bounty
A bounty is a special reputation award given to answers. It is funded by the personal reputation of the user who offers it, and is non-refundable.
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.
$\begingroup$ I read what you quoted, but didn't pay attention to the phrase "is non-refundable", and so I thought that "bounty is not awarded to anyone" means that the bounty gets reassigned back to me. It's a pity, especially since I considered increasing the bounty to 100 once it expired. Now with 73 points this is not possible. $\endgroup$– fekleeJul 15, 2013 at 23:22
$\begingroup$ @feklee It's set up this way so that people can't offer bounties and then revoke them with no penalty. That may not be as fair to the well-intentioned bounty starter like yourself, but I'm sure you understand it is necessary. $\endgroup$– jonscaJul 15, 2013 at 23:28
$\begingroup$ I understand. What I don't understand is why it is not possible to increase a bounty (or is it?). $\endgroup$– fekleeJul 16, 2013 at 0:18
$\begingroup$ You can start a higher bounty on the same question once the first one runs out. $\endgroup$– jonscaJul 16, 2013 at 4:21
1$\begingroup$ @feklee Look at the bounty as payment for putting up an advertisement :) You don't get a refund if the ad doesn't work. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 4:39