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I understand the concept of a bounty:

If you’ve asked a good question, edited it with status and progress updates, and still are not receiving answers, you can draw attention to your question by placing a bounty on it.

I have notice certain question getting multiple bounties. Some of which have accepted answers. Is this to reward other good answers that were not accepted (but still great answers)?

I am just trying to get a handle on what exactly they are used for.

My interpretation of the bounty system was that it is for question that do not have accepted answers. The bounty is a way to try to get more people to answer the question in hopes of finding an answer.

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    Bounties, are, by definition, used for whatever people want to use them for. They are primarily used for the reasons you noted (Attracting answers, rewarding existing answers) but you can (and people do) award bounties for whatever reasons you feel like. – Kaz Jul 18 '17 at 11:55
  • ok, well that makes more sense. I was getting really confused when I saw a question get like 3 bounties. – SaggingRufus Jul 18 '17 at 11:59
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    Check the main meta for details on how bounties are set up. This is the main one but specifically for your question look at: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/107282/… // meta.stackexchange.com/questions/116072/… // meta.stackexchange.com/questions/268362/… – Lilienthal Jul 18 '17 at 13:47
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    Long story short: your interpretation of what a bounty is for and the help center description is correct. But people were using them to reward existing answers which is why that was added as an option, even if it's not their main goal. In practice you're much more likely to see bounties being handed out as rewards though. To keep the bounty system intact, there's a 24 hour delay before awarding so that even when you want to reward an answer, as in theory there could be a new answers inspired by the bounty that deserves it more. But I'd just start a new bounty to reward that one as well... – Lilienthal Jul 18 '17 at 13:48
  • @Lilienthal thanks! it doesn't bother me either way I was just confused. I didn't even know it was possible to award multiple bounties on a question! – SaggingRufus Jul 18 '17 at 13:50
  • @SaggingRufus Yeah the dichotomy bounty/reward is a common source of confusion. As far as I can tell it's being kept as is and not promoted because there's no ideal solution to the problem. – Lilienthal Jul 18 '17 at 13:51
  • it's the quicker picker upper. – Retired Codger Jul 21 '17 at 12:16
  • A bounty is more important on the main site (stackoverflow) because sometimes on hard question, people are not interested to put there time into answering them (doing research, work out the problem, etc.) but with a bounty you can attract some skillful answerers that might solve your solution. I don't see this as a problem on workplace (questions always get answers) so imo bounties are not as important on workplace as on e.g. stackoverflow itself. – Mafii Jul 25 '17 at 9:20
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A bounty is just an additional reward. It is useful for several reasons:

  • It can reward answers not chosen as the accepted answer.

  • Allows to go further that the +10 reputation points that a regular user can award to an answer.

  • Helps luring users to a question that haven't got enough attention.

  • Tells people that there is still interest in the question, even after an answer has been chosen.

Also, the other benefit of bounties is that it does not require you to be the original poster of the question: Anyone can place a bounty in any question they like.

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