Kinky Friedman (search), the independent candidate for Texas governor, thinks he may be on a winning streak.

The musician, author and humorist says he won $45,612 over the weekend playing a slot machine at Harrah's in New Orleans. On Wednesday, he showed news reporters a Harrah's photograph of himself at the winning machine.

"It's a sign," said Friedman, who is hoping that his luck spills over into his budding political career.

Friedman, who announced this year that he will run for governor in 2006, will have up to two months next spring to collect 45,000 signatures from registered voters to make it on the ballot as an independent.

Gov. Rick Perry (search) and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn (search) are running on the Republican side, and former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell (search) and Felix Alvarado (search) are running for the Democratic nomination.

Friedman hasn't decided what to do with his casino winnings.

He said through his spokeswoman that he may give it to his campaign fund or donate it to a charity or to the "leprosy colony for unwed mothers in Hawaii." Calls to a Harrah's spokeswoman were not immediately returned.