The 47-year-old was found in the carriageway, between the two junctions leading to the village, at 7.09pm last night.
He had serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say he was hit by a vehicle while he was laid in the road. The vehicle stopped at the scene as did a number of others, including some motorists who had to swerve to avoid the man.
“At this stage it is unclear how the man came to be laid in the carriageway,” said a police spokesman. “Investigations are ongoing to try to establish whether he stumbled into the road and fell or whether a preceding vehicle has hit the man.
“Numerous witnesses have come forward to report seeing a man walking along the A65 prior to the collision and we extend our thanks to those people who have come forward.
Their information is extremely valuable to our investigation.
“However, we still need to hear from any other motorists who were driving along the A65 in either direction at around 6.45pm to 7.10pm."
Anyone with information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police control room on 101, quoting incident number 434 of January 8.
The road was closed to allow investigators to examine the scene and reopened at around 1am.
7.30am, January 9: Police have launched an investigation after a man was found dead in the road the A65 at Draughton last night.
Officers say the pedestrian was found laid in the road, between both turn-offs to the village, at 7.09pm. He had serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“A number of motorists stopped at the scene of the incident and are assisting officers with information,” said a police spokesman. “However, it remains unknown how the man came to be laid in the road.
“Officers are appealing for anyone who was driving in either direction along the A65 past Draughton between 6.45pm and 7.10pm to contact them as a matter of urgency.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Yorkshire Police control room on 101, quoting incident number 434 of January 8.
The road was closed for several hours.