Edward Powers, 75; Ex-Agent, ‘Father of Lotteries’

From Times Wire Services

Edward Powers, the FBI agent who helped solve the 1950 $2.2-million Brinks armored car robbery and because of his background and reputation was picked to manage the first modern American lottery, has died at age 75.

Powers died Tuesday in a hospital here, where he moved in 1978 after retiring as director of the New Hampshire lottery. He had undergone bypass surgery in 1979 and last year.

The “Handbook of U.S. Lottery Fundamentals,” a 400-page reference manual, calls Powers the “father of U.S. lotteries.”

He served as president of several national and international lottery organizations. In his retirement, Powers was a consultant to several state lotteries and companies that produce lottery paraphernalia.


Powers, as FBI agent in charge of the Boston office, spent six years trying to solve the Brinks case. The break came when one of the holdup men informed on the others because he believed he did not get his fair share of the loot.

In 1963, after 22 years with the FBI, he was hired to manage the New Hampshire lottery because its sponsors wanted to prove it could be run without organized crime influence.

As New Hampshire lottery director, Powers, who lived in Bedford, was instrumental in lobbying Congress to repeal an excise tax on lottery winnings and to allow radio and TV stations to broadcast lottery numbers across state lines.