Bernard Edwards, executive director of the D.C. lottery board, unexpectedly submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday, less than one year after taking the position.

The announcement, which came late yesterday afternoon, was very brief.

Spokeswoman Dana Shelly said Edwards' resignation was accepted yesterday by board Chairwoman Carolyn Lewis.

Edwards was not available for comment.

"No reason was given for the resignation," Shelly said.

Lewis told lottery board employees of Edwards' resignation late yesterday afternoon, Shelly said.

Edwards will leave his $70,000-a-year job by March 30 at the latest, Shelly said.

Edwards was the third executive director of the lottery board since it began operations in 1981.

The other directors, Douglass Gordon and Chester Carter, also resigned, Shelly said.

Edwards, who had been deputy director of the Pennsylvania lottery, was hired by the D.C. board on March 27 after a long national search.

At a news conference announcing his selection, Edwards said he had no specific plans for the lottery in Washington.

"I took this job because they are not satisfied with an already good program," he said then.

Last night, Chairwoman Lewis said, "There is no big story behind the resignation. He is leaving to look at some other things."

Lewis said there is a high turnover rate for executive directors throughout the lottery business.

"It is very common for someone to leave that position," she said.

"If we look at other states, we have a low turnover. We will have no trouble replacing him. There will be good people among the candidates."

Lewis said the D.C. lottery "won't miss a beat" because of Edwards' resignation.

"We have enough senior staff to keep eveything running smoothly."

This month, Edwards announced a new multistate lottery called Lotto America, which encompasses the District, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The first drawing for the minimum $2 million jackpot was held Feb. 13.

Edwards said then that he hoped the multistate game would attract new players.

"We expect those who haven't played before to play now because of the excitement of such a large jackpot," Edwards said.

Shelly said sales for the new game produced more than $350,000 in the first 10 days of sales in the District.

She said ticket sales in the six states plus the District brought in more than $2 million in the same time period.

The first winner of Lotto America was a farmer facing bankruptcy in Iowa, Shelly said. He won $3 million.