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I recently posted this question about who voices "Finger" in The Fifth Element. People have been seeking the answer for literally decades, yet nobody has been able to provide the correct answer. But there is an answer - a single, unique answer that could be found with enough effort.

I'd be willing to spend crazy reputation to get the right answer (at least 1000).

But I'm not willing to waste reputation on a non-answer ("we don't know").

What can/should I do?

My understanding is that once a bounty expires, I have to award the bounty to the best answer - even if they're all wrong. If I don't award it, the most popular answer gets half the bounty and the other half just disappears.

If I post a massive 1000 bounty, it will just go to the best wrong answer after a week. And if I post a 50 bounty every week, the best case is that someone posts a new answer every week and gets the 50. Whoever finds the actual answer would just get that week's 50.

What am I missing?

  • 2
    Not much else you can do. Bounties get attention, that's all.....they don't guarantee a right answer. The system isn't set up for anything else. It's just advertising....they raise awareness but they don't guarantee a sales boost. – Paulie_D Jun 27 at 6:46
  • Actually, the "best" case is that any answers don't receive 2 +votes and so no bounty is awarded...but you don't get it back. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16065/… – Paulie_D Jun 27 at 6:49
  • For the record if you put a 50 bounty on a question, then the next one you set on the same question has to be 100, then 200, etc. – Jenayah Jun 27 at 7:37
  • but the 100 and 200 only last a week too? that's even worse – LevenTrek Jun 27 at 10:54
  • @LevenTrek yes, it lasts a week – Jenayah Jun 27 at 13:08
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What you can't do

Bounty it "50 each week". From the help page on bounties,

if you offer multiple bounties on the same question, the minimum spend doubles with each subsequent bounty (50 reputation on the first bounty, 100 reputation on the second, 200 on the third, and so on).

That quickly gets you to 500 a week, which will probably drain your rep faster than you get it.

What you shouldn't do

Even if you manage to gather up enough rep a week to afford a continuous bounty, I don't think you'll have the desired effect. There is an answer to your question (some human out there voiced the character, or maybe it was a computer-generated voice, but it was something), but you're not going to attract many new eyes on it by bountying it each week. If someone has searched it the week before and found nothing, then they know they probably won't find it again the week after.

Honestly, if this question ever gets the "right" answer, I wouldn't be surprised if it came from a new/drive-by user sharing the anecdote.

What you can do

  • Bounty it regularly, but not weekly-regularly. Your call as to how often, but as said above, I think you may want to let the pool of answerers renew a bit before you bounty it again.
  • Leave a comment on the question, something along the lines of what was done on this SFF question:

    For the record, if anyone reads this, I've got a standing 1000 rep bounty for any new info about Terence Haile

  • You're free to write whatever you want (while staying reasonable of course) on your profile page. If you want to duplicate the above comment there, it can serve as an "advertising place" of sorts.

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