Modern day P.T. Barnum, Elon Musky, has put out a challenge to get otherwise bright people to compete for a Hyperloopy prize. The Hyperloopy is based on pneumatic vacuum air tube communications systems in Department stores in the 1950s.
If they succeed in the challenge, the profits got to Elon Musky. Even if nothing comes of it Musky gets tons of free publicity that he can use to further his government subsidized battery car, solar and space boondoggles.
No matter what happens all those sucked into the challenge will either get nothing or a prize worth less than minimum wage for the participants. The Tom promises to undercut Musky big time