The point is: as a professionnal, what is the value of having your name associated to this? As a consultant, how much would you have to shell outto get that attention on Slashdot?
Absolutely. Also, as a consultant, do you have any downtime that's not being charged? This sort of competition is worthwhile and (if you like your job) fun.
Also, gamifying these problems gets lots of minds thinking about the problem that wouldn't otherwise. And the "competition" is a cost-free way of separating the wheat from the chaff.