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I've posted an incomplete answer to the question

Does a left basis imply a right basis, without AC?

which has a 50 point bounty that expires soon. My answer is basically an idea that I think (but I'm not sure) I can complete to an acceptable answer, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to do that before the bounty expires. My answer already has a few upvotes, and if I understand how bounties work, that means that I might automatically be awarded half the bounty when the grace period expires.

I'd feel a bit bad if that happened, especially if I subsequently realized that my idea didn't work.

Is there any way I can dodge the bounty? If I temporarily deleted my answer just before the grace period expired, would that work?

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The bounty will not be awarded to a deleted answer and it will not be awarded retroactively. Thus, to temporarily delete the answer until the bounty ends indeed would be an option to avoid getting the bounty.

I do however not quite understand the rationale. For the person that started the bounty the points are gone no matter what; if the bounty goes to no one the points are just lost. Thus, you do not "help" the OP in any way.

If it is just you feeling uneasy about your undeserved increase in "wealth," perhaps rather then throwing the "money" in the trash, donate it to "charity;" that is take the points and start a bounty on some deserving question yourself, it could be even that same question.

(Technical footnote: if you should get just half the bounty it does not suffice to start a bounty on its own.)

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, starting my own bounty on the question if I earn undeserved wealth sounds a better solution. I'll do that if I don't manage to fill in the gaps fairly soon (or realize that my idea doesn't work). Regarding your technical footnote: I'm not bothered if this costs me a net 25 points. $\endgroup$ Dec 16 '14 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ I personally thought you deserved the bounty, since your answer was the most complete so far. Don't feel bad about it! Besides, by putting a bounty on the problem, the question got enough up-votes that I made up all the points I lost! $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '14 at 2:14
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This is perhaps not technically an answer, but in real sense it is: just don't worry about it. Points are not worth worrying about, and the precise number you have really doesn't matter. Your participation here is clearly appreciated by the community. I'd think the community would benefit more from you thinking about math rather than your unearned points...

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    $\begingroup$ I should also say that I am upvoting your question to give you yet another unearned point, just to spite you. $\endgroup$
    – Ravi Vakil
    Feb 1 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ But Ravi, an upvote on Meta won't give any points to Jeremy Rickard! :) But let me vote up your answer, so that you'll be on your way to a shiny Necromancer badge! $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Feb 1 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ Don't worry, I stopped worrying about it six years ago! $\endgroup$ Feb 1 at 7:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeremy: But did you learn to love the bomb? :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Feb 5 at 12:12

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